Gladson Awako battles Hearts duo, two others for top award

BY: Peter Sarbah
Salifu Ibrahim -- Hearts of Oak
Hearts of Oak's Salifu Ibrahim was influential in the club's league title success

Two of the principal architects in Accra Hearts of Oak's Premier League triumph, Salifu Ibrahim and Benjamin Afutu Kotey, are among five players nominated to contest for NASCO Ghana Premier League Player of the Season.

The duo will face a strong challenge from the league's top scorer Diawisie Talyor of Karela United and Gladson Awako, who was the driving force behind Accra Great Olympics' impressive season before switching camp to their city rivals last week.

It could be a unique double for Hearts midfield gem Ibrahim who won the home-based Player of the Season at the recent Ghana Football Awards last month. The 21-year-old won six NASCO Player of the Match awards and made 17 league appearances for the Phobians that won both the Premier League and the MTN FA Cup.

Top Contender: Gladson Awako was one of the most influential players in the Premier League

Until Awako switched camp to Hearts this month, he was considered one of the most influential players on the local scene as he scored seven goals for the Dade lads, including a sublime free-kick against Hearts in the first round of the league. He also recorded seven assists and won four MVPs to help the Coach Annor Walker's side to a respectable sixth position.

Also presenting a strong competition, Taylor scored 18 goals and contributed seven assists in 31 appearances for Karela.

Karela United's Diawisie Taylor was the league's top goal scorer
Kotey was also influential in Hearts' success story as he scored nine goals with two assists in 29 matches. He also won two NASCO Player of the Match awards.

Also in contention for the top prize is WAFA sensation, Augustine Boakye, who scored nine goals with 13 assists in 29 appearances for the Sogakope-based side. He also won seven NASCO Player of the Match awards.

Best Coach award
The man who masterminded Hearts' domestic double triumph, Samuel Boadu, will contest for the NASCO Coach of the Season prize alongside other experienced coaches.

Coach Samuel Boadu guided Hearts of Oak to Premier League title success

Coach Boadu, who made a sensational switch from Medeama to the Phobians midway into the season, guided Hearts to 18 wins, nine draws and seven losses in 34 matches.

He faces strong competition from Dr Prosper Nartey Ogum of WAFA (16 wins in 34 matches), Annor Walker of Great Olympics (12 wins, six draws and 1 loss in 29 games); Dreams FC coach, Vladislav Viric and Asante Kotoko's Portuguese trainer, Mariano Barreto.