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FAM announces Airtel Top 8 player of tournament nominees

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Football Association of Malawi has released a list of four nominees for the 2021 Airtel Top 8 player of the tournament award.

The four are Nyasa Big Bullets duo of strikers Babatunde Adepoju and Lanjesi Nkhoma as well as Silver Strikers forward Stain Davie and his team mate winger Zebron Kalima.

The winner will be crowned at a special ceremony to be hosted by the sponsors Airtel Malawi at a date to be confirmed in due course.

According to FAM Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka, the Competitions Technical Study group came up with nominations after analyzing the Competitions statistics.

Zakazaka said a selected group of coaches under the National Coaches Association, who were responsible for selecting player of the match in the competition and some sports journalists will vote for the award.

Briefs on the 2021 Airtel Top 8 Player of the Tournament Nominees

Name: Babatunde Adepoju
Position: Striker
Club: Nyasa Big Bullets
Number of games Played: 3
Number of games started: 3
Total Number of Minutes played: 256
Goals scored: 8
Man of the Match Awards: 1

Babatunde single-handedly led Nyasa Big Bullets to their first Airtel Championship with eight goals in just three matches, averaging 2.6 goals per match. He beat, by far, the records set by previous golden boot winners in the first three editions who never went past three goals. He missed the final due to a red card suspension as Bullets came from behind to beat Silver Strikers on post-match penalties.

Name: Zebron Kalima
Position: Midfielder
Club: Silver Strikers
Number of games Played: 4
Number of games started: 4
Total Minutes played: 341
Goals scored: 1
Man of the match awards: 2

Kalima had a great run in the four matches as defending champions Silver Strikers reached their third Top 8 final. He scored one goal, won two man-of-the-match awards, the most by any player. His outstanding performance did not go unnoticed as he was named in the Flames AFCON squad where he made his official debut against Guinea.

Name: Stain Dave
Position: Striker
Club: Silver Strikers
Number of games Played: 4
Number of games started: 4
Total Minutes Played: 315
Goals scored: 3
Assists: 2

The second top goal scorer with three goals also had a good tournament He missed out on the score sheet in the first game where he provided an assist as Silver Strikers beat TN Stars 1-0. But he then scored in all the remaining three games, including the final against Nyasa Big Bullets. He had most assists two jointly with teammate Frank Banda.

Name: Lanjesi Nkhoma
Position: Striker
Club: Nyasa Big Bullets a
Number of games Played: 4
Number of games started: 4
Total Number of Minutes played: 305
Goals scored: 1
Assists:1
Man of the match award: 1

Nkhoma was the hero for Bullets in the final as he scored the equaliser as the People’s Team came from behind to beat Silver Strikers on penalties. He deservedly was named the player-of-the-match. He started all the matches as the main partner of Babatunde and registered one assist.



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