Chinedu Anozie and Uche Okagbue, both of FC Ifeanyiubah, have been named the Player and Manager respectively in the NPFL for the month of January.
The League Bloggers Award (LBA), which has been in the forefront of recognizing on-pitch performances of players and coaches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in the past 10 years,announced the winners on Friday.
FC Ifeanyiubah goalkeeper Anozie won the player’s award for the month under review by a mile following a brilliant outing in which he kept five clean sheets, all throughout January.
Anozie’s clean sheets were against 2017 champions Plateau United, Nasarawa United, Go Round, Yobe Desert Stars and Kada City to beat three other contenders, Abdulrazak Aliyu (El-Kanemi Warriors), Samuel Nnoshiri (Heartland) and Wasiu Jimoh (Rivers United).
Okagbue, on the other hand, masterminded a magnificent run in January for the Anambra Warriors in spite of the odds stacked against them following the departure of high-profile names from the Nnewi club on the eve of this season.
The FC Ifeanyiubah head coach has been able to blood together youngsters like Ikenna Cooper and Nansel Bussa with experienced heads like captain Chijioke Alaekwe, Promise James and goalkeeper Anozie as well as unknown quantities in Charles Okafor, Christian Nnaji, Chibuike Eze and Nonso Nzediegwu to stun opponents in the top division. These players played huge roles in their January outing.
Okagbue’s men finished as the only side that reached double figures of points (11) from five matches, dropping just four points. FC Ifeanyiubah under Okagbue in January won three matches including at
Kada City and drew twice at Plateau United and Go Round.
The FC Ifeanyiubah trainer beat Gbenga Ogunbote (Rangers), Mehmet Tayfun Turkmen (Heartland) and Stanley Eguma (Rivers United) to the first manager’s award this season.