Lobi Stars striker Anthony Okpotu was the star of the night at the 2017 League Bloggers Award night held in Lagos on Tuesday. Okpotu, top scorer in the last Nigeria Professional Football League season was crowned the Player of the Season along with his highest goalscorer prize at the Awards ceremony dominated by league champions Plateau United.
Okpotu scored nineteen goals to finish as the topscorer in the 2016/17 league season including three hattricks, a record in an NPFL season. He beat Plateau United defender Daniel Itodo, former MFM striker Stephen Odey and Austrian Wien attacker Alhassan Ibrahim to the player of the year gong.
Itodo however won the Defender of the Year prize, one of four accolades received by league Champions Plateau United out of the eleven categories designed for the top tier league.
Itodo’s club, Plateau United were named Club of the Year after landing their first ever league title while their coach, Kennedy Boboye won the Coach of the year prize. Winger Peter Eneji completed a quadruple of awards for United by landing the Best New Player prize.
Lagos based side MFM FC also had two of their players honoured at the event. Attacker Sikiru Olatunbosun expectedly won the Goal of the Season award after his brilliant volley against Rangers on February 24 while his Cameroonian teammate Tchato Giscard was awarded the Best Foreign Player prize.
Nasarawa United goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso who had the highest number of clean sheets of any goalkeeper in the top division last term won the Goalkeeper of the Year award while his counterpart Ikechukwu Ezenwa was named the best NPFL-based National Team Player of the year. Enyimba midfielder Ikechukwu Ibenegbu won the Midfielder of the Year prize.
Two players from other leagues were also rewarded. FC Robo star Rasheedat Ajibade was named the Nigerian Women Football League Player of the Season while Kwara United striker Michael Ohanu won the Best Player Award for the second tier Nigeria National League.
The League Bloggers Award, though an independent award is the only award ceremony that recognizes and rewards outstanding achievements in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
- Player of the Year – Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)
- Highest Goal scorer – Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)
- Club of the Year – Plateau United
- Coach of the Year – Kennedy Boboye (Plateau United)
- Goalkeeper of the Year – Suraj Ayeleso (Nasarawa United)
- Defender of the Year – Daniel Itodo (Plateau United)
- Midfielder of the Year – Ikechukwu Ibenegbu (Enyimba)
- Best NPFL-Based National Team Player – Ikechukwu Ezenwa
- Best New Player – Moses Peter Eneji Jnr (Plateau United)
- Best Foreign Player – Tchato Giscard (MFM FC)
- Goal of the Season – Sikiru Olatunbosun (MFM FC vs Rangers)
- Best NWFL Player – Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens)
- Best NNL Player – Michael Ohanu (Kwara United)