By James Agberebi:
Super Eagles quartet; Victor Moses, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Leon Balogun and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as Gernot Rohr and Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala were all award recipients at 2017/2018 Nigeria Pitch Awards.
The fifth edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards took place at the Le Meridien Ogeyi Place in Port Harcourt on Monday after the Super Eagles friendly match against Democratic Republic of Congo which ended 1-1.
Moses who did not play in the friendly against DR Congo, won the award for the King of the Pitch category, while Ezenwa won the Goalkeeper of the Year. Defender of the Year went to Balogun, and Ndidi was awarded Midfielder of the Year.
Rohr was awarded with Achievement in Football Award, while Oshoala was recieved the Queen of the Pitch award.
In other awards that were given out, last season’s NPFL top scorer, Anthony Okpotu of Lobi Stars won the Nigeria Professional Football League Most Valubale Player and Striker of the Year. Nigeria fast rising women star Rasheedat Ajibade got the award for Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL).
Kennedy Boboye of Plateau United won the Coach of the Year award, while Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, received the Sam Okwaraji Award for Commitment to Nigerian Football.
Other categories of awards given out the deserving winners included Club/Team of the Year, Referee of the Year, Corporate Sponsor of Football award, State With the Best Grassroots Development Programme, Football Friendly Governor, Football Journalist of the Year (Print), Football Journalist of the Year (radio), Football Journalist of the Year (TV), Special Achievement in Football award and Achievement in Football award which was given out to three recipients.
2017/2018 Nigeria Pitch Awards Winners
GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR -Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Ifeanyi Ubah FC)
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR – Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05)
MIDFIELDER OF THE YEAR – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City FC)
STRIKER OF THE YEAR – Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars FC)
MVP (MEN) IN THE NPFL – Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars FC)
MVP (WOMEN) IN THE NWFL – Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo)
COACH OF THE YEAR – Kennedy Boboye (Plateau United)
CLUB/TEAM OF THE YEAR – Plateau United FC
REFEREE OF THE YEAR – Ferdinand Udoh
STATE WITH THE BEST GRASSROOTS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME – Lagos State
FOOTBALL FRIENDLY GOVERNOR OF THE YEAR – His Excellency Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom State)
SAM OKWARAJI AWARD FOR COMMITMENT TO NIGERIAN FOOTBALL – Amaju Melvin Pinnick (President, NFF)
CORPORATE SPONSOR OF FOOTBALL AWARD – Aiteo Group
FOOTBALL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR (PRINT) – Tana Aiyejina (Punch Newspapers)
FOOTBALL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR (RADIO) – Olawale Adigun Top Radio FM
FOOTBALL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR (TV) – Austin Okon-Akpan (Channels TV)
QUEEN OF THE PITCH – Asisat Oshoala (Dalian Quanjian)
KING OF THE PITCH – Victor Moses (Chelsea FC)
1. His Excellency Nyeson Ezenwo Wike, Governor of Rivers State- Special Achievement in Football Award
2. Gernot Rohr – Achievement in Football Award
3. Aisha Falode – Achievement in Football Award
4. Channels Kids Cup – Achievement in Football Award