Super Eagles forward, Victor Moses heads a list of national team players shortlisted for the 2018 Nigeria Pitch Awards, after organisers of the awards revealed the nominees for the 2018 edition during a press conference at the Lagos Travel Inn, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Chelsea wingback, Moses tops the list, with three nominations, while the duo of John Mikel Obi and Wilfred Ndidi received two apiece.
Also nominated were members of the “Oyinbo Wall” fame, Leon Balogun, and William Troost-Ekong, who made the list of nominees for defender of the year.
This will be the fifth edition of the Pitch Awards, which rewards Nigerian football players for their outstanding performances in a calendar year.
It is an event put together to not just celebrate the footballers, both those based in the domestic league and their counterparts abroad, but also other stakeholders in Nigerian football.
Speaking during the press conference, President of the Pitch Awards, Shina Philips said;
“we have put in place a credible and transparent reward system for Nigerian footballers and stakeholders who have continued to display exceptional talents, skills, commitment and passion to improve the standard of our football.”
He added that in spite of challenges they have faced, they remain “determined to move ahead with the Pitch Awards because it has become an essential part of our football culture.”
There are 18 categories of the awards, with three individuals shortlisted for each category.
Some of the categories include, King and Queen of the year, goalkeeper of the year, defender of the year, midfielder of the year, NPFL MVP(Men), NWFL MVP, Coach of the year, Football Friendly Governor, and Team of the year.
Those present at the media briefing included amongst others Representatives of the Nigeria Football Federation, accounting firm, SIAO Partners, ace broadcaster and top women’s football administrator, Aisha Falode, and actor, Segun Arinze.
Full Categories and Nominees:
Goalkeeper of the year: Carl Ikeme, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Enyimba and Dele Ajiboye, Plateau United
Defender of the Year: Leon Balogun, Mainz 05; William Troost-Ekong and Shehu Abdullahi, Bursaspor
Midfielder of the Year: John Mikel Obi,Tianjin Teda; Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City; Victor Moses, Chelsea
Forward of the Year: Victor Moses, Anthony Okpotu, Lobi Stars; Odion Ighalo, Changchun Yatai.
NPFL MVP (Men): Ikechukwu Ezenwa; Stephen Odey, MFM FC/ Zurich FC; Tony Okpotu
MVP NWFL: Rasheedat Ajibade, Robo FC; Charity Reuben, Ibom Angels; Amarachi Okonkwo, Nasarawa Amazons.
Coach of the Year: Fidelis Ilechukwu, MFM FC; Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles; Kennedy Boboye, Plateau United.
Referee of the Year: Ferdinand Udoh, Adebimbe Quadri, Joseph Ogabor
Team of the Year; Super Eagles; Plateau United, MFM FC
Best Grassroots Football Development Program (state): Lagos State, Rivers State, Delta State.
Football Friendly Governor: Godwin Obaseki, Edo State; Emmanuel Udoh, Akwa Ibom; Ambode Akinwumi, Lagos State.
Sam Okwaraji Award for Commitment to Nigeria Football: Shehu Dikko, Amaju Pinnick, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah
Cooperate Sponsor of the Year: Aiteo Group; Nigerian Brewery PLC; Coca Cola
Football Journalist of the Year;
Print: Johnny Edwards, Complete Sports; Olalekan Okusan, Nations Sports; Tana Aiyejina, Punch Newspaper.
Radio:.Godwin Enakhare and Olawale Adigun, Top Radio; Tony Eberekedo, Brilla FM
Television: Austin Okon, Channels TV; Godwin Enakhare, Lagos TV; Mozez Praiz, Super Sports
Queen of the Year; Rasheedat Ajibade; Asissat Oshoala; Charity Reuben
King of the Year; Victor Moses; Wilfred Ndidi, Jon Mikel Obi