Influential Nyasa Big Bullets midfielder Chimwemwe Idana stands a better chance of lifting the TNM Super League Player-of-the-Season award with statistics going in his favour.
Idana is level with Karonga United defender Eric Atsiga and Moyale Barracks forward Lloyd Njaliwa on four Man-of-the-Match awards but the Bullets star has the edge after winning two Player-of-the- Week accolades and the Player-of-the-Month award once with five goals, according to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) Statistician Patrick Chisale.
An opinion survey among some coaches in the country also puts Idana ahead of Silver Strikers’ midfielder Blessings Tembo, Atsiga and Mighty Wanderers midfielder Vitumbiko Kumwenda.
Four prominent coaches have also spoken in favour of Idana for the season’s top prize of a Mazda Demio car.
These are relegated Ntopwa’s Trevor Kajawa, Franco Ndawa of Civo Service United, Etson Kadenge Mwafulirwa (Ekwendeni Hammers) and National Football Coaches Association Chairperson Aubrey Nankhuni.
Nankhuni said the player with the most Man-of-the-Match awards deserves the prize.
“The rule is simple. He who has won the most Man-of-the- Match awards should win this award in all fairness. This is our position here at the coaches’ association,” he said.
Njaliwa also stands a chance as he scored nine goals in the season.
However, Mafco Assistant Coach Yohane Fulaye said Tembo deserves the top award as he was consistent.
“Tembo was outstanding and provided more assists to his team compared to many players in the league this season,” Fulaye said.
Tembo managed to get one Man-of-the-Match award and also won the Player-of-the-Week award once.
He scored seven goals in the season, three during his time at Civo and four at Silver.
Also in line for the top award is Mighty Wanderers’ Vitumbiko Kumwenda who netted eight goals and clinched one Player-of-the-Week accolade.
Kumwenda, also won the Man-of-the-Match award thrice and the Player-of-the-Month accolade once.
Njaliwa said he was aware that his name is among the top players in contention for the biggest award of the season.
“I know that I am one of the players who performed well in the 2021 season. I did my best to contribute to my team’s success despite our failure to win the league title. I also scored vital goals and provided some assists to my fellow players. I believe these attributes give me a chance to win the award,” he said.
The TN Stars duo of Alfred Chizenga and Arnold Masamba also stands a chance after winning three Man-of-the-Match awards each.
However, Idana has the added advantage of captaining his team to the league title.
Sulom is currently working on modalities for selection of the ultimate winner, with team captains, coaches, journalists and some supporters expected to vote for the winner.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.