Four players nominated for 2022 TNM Super League Player of the Season ahead of awards gala nigh

One of four players, Patrick Mwaungulu, Gomezgani Chirwa, Babatude Adepoju (all Nyasa Big Bullets) and Paul Master (Blue Eagles), will be unveiled tomorrow (Wednesday) as 2022 TNM Super League Player of the Season at the awards gala night to be held at Amarylis Hotel in Blantyre.

Gomezgani Chirwa has also been nominated for Best Defender; Patrick Mwaungulu as Best Rookie and Best Midfielder while Babatunde is the Golden Boot award winner.

Nyasa Big Bullets’ Babatunde is the Golden Boot winner

Nominees for Best Goalkeeper are Pilirani Mapira (Silver Strikers; formerly of Wanderers), Brighton Munthali (Blue Eagles; formerly of Silver Strikers and Richard Chimbamba (Nyasa Big Bullets); for Best Defender are Miracle Gabeya, Stanley Sanudi (both Mighty Wanderers), Paul Ndhlovu MAFCO), and Gomezgani Chirwa (Nyasa Big Bullets); and for Best Midfielder are Chimwemwe Idana, Patrick Mwaungulu (both Bullets) and Chawanangwa Gumbo (Ekwendeni Hammers).

Patrick Mwaungulu competes as Best Rookie together with MacDonald Lameck (Blue Eagles) and Gift Chunga (Ekwendeni Hammers) while Best Coach is competed for by Elijah Kananji (Blue Eagles), Charles Kamanga (Kamuzu Barracks) and Calisto Pasuwa — the man who led Nyasa Big Bullets to their 4th successful league title with two matches to spare.

Miracle Gabeya nominated for Best Defender

Speaking ahead of the night acting Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd Gowera said the awards gala gives TNM Plc the opportunity to reward and recognize individual brilliance in the key categories of players, clubs and media.

“The end of every TNM Super League season is a time to look back at the Who’s Who of the local football industry for players and media practitioners,” he said.

“On Wednesday, TNM will pay special tribute to the heroes of the just ended season by decorating and bestowing upon them the medals of recognition they deserve.”

He added that the 2022 season was one of the most exciting in recent years as it marked the return to total football action after CoVID-19 lockdowns, and that this is reflected in the tight competition for the awards slots in all the key categories.

The outstanding players were identified through voting using a monkey survey system — whose voters were team coaches, team captains and members of the media.

The champions Nyasa Big Bullets

The media awards are adjudged by an independent panel comprising media scholars and experienced practitioners.

The nominees in the eight media awards category are Mabvuto Kambuwe, Garry Chirwa, Joy Ndovi (print); Frank Kandu, Richard Tiyesi, Norbert Jameson, Titani Willard (radio); Idah Mwambazi, Tadala Manda, Hankey Chimtengo, Mphatso Chakhadza (television); Edwin Mbewe, Eric Chiputula, Anthony Isaiah, Pemphero Musowa, McLloyd Kadzingo (online).

Williams Gondwa; Steve Liwewe Banda; Bright Kanyama, Peter Fote and Innocent Chitimbe are for commentary; Taufiq Chipinga and Richard Issa (TV photography); Emmanuel Simpokolwe, Bobby Kabango, Chifundo Zigunde (photography still & print) while Garry Chirwa and Mabvuto Kambuwe are earmarked for best analysis together with Eric Chiputula.

Acting TNM CEO Lloyd Gowera

Gowera said the awarding process in the TNM Super League awards continues to undergo improvements focusing on quality, efficacy, impartiality and excellence.

“This year’s awards saw the adoption of digital media tools to aggregate, score and assess winners,” he said. “For the media awards category, we launched a separate website which was used to collect entries from journalists and acted as a platform for sharing of information.

“In the player segment, the voting used an electronic tool, and overall, this has helped improve our efficiency in identifying winners,” said the acting CEO.

Nyasa Big Bullets were crowned 2022 TNM Super League champions at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on November 19 having finished finished with 73 points. In the 2021 season, they won the league with 62 points; in 2019 with 70 and in 2018 with 71 points.

They amassed 69 goals, with Babatunde claiming 18 of them while the previous season they hauled 62 goals — with Hassan Kajoke claiming 21 of them.

Their 2022 runners-up are Blue Eagles having finished with 59 points; 2016 champions Kamuzu Barracks were third place with 57 points;  Mighty Wanderers finished fourth position with 56 points and Silver Strikers fifth with 51 points.

The Super League was created in 1986 and was first sponsored by Gillet Nacet. It was composed of eight teams — five from Blantyre & Districts Football League (BDFL) and three from Lilongwe & Districts Football League (LDFL).

Nyasa Big Bullets — formerly named Bata Bullets, Total Bullets and Bakili Bulkets have won most of the titles (16) as inaugural champions in 1986, followed by 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020-21, 2022.

Silver Strikers follow at 8 (1993, 1994, 1996, 2008, 2010, 2011–12, 2012-13 and 2013.

Mighty Wanderers won it six times (1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2006 and 2017); ESCOM United twice (2007, 2010–11); and once by Admarc Tigers (1989); Civo United ((1987); MDC United (1988); Kamuzu Barracks (2016).

Interestingly, none has beaten the record as top goalscorer since Big Bullets former striker, Ganizani Malunga who 28 in 2002/03 season while Mighty Wanderers’s former players Aggrey Kanyenda came close with 26 in 2005-06 as well as Heston Munthali then for MDC United with 24 in 2001/02.

The Bukkets’ Hassan Kajoke and Silver’s Khuda Muyaba hit the net 21 times (2020-21 for Kajoke and 2019 for Muyaba while the current top sniper Babatunde ties with seven previous top scorers of the season.

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