Big Bullets resurgence in the past season got its deserved recognition when they swept six accolades at the 2012/2013 TNM Super League prize presentation ceremony.
To their credit, Silver Strikers might have retained the championship to cart home K9 million (about $23 076) and a glittering trophy, but it was the People’s Team who stole the show at the Presidential Conference Centre in Lilongwe on Friday night.
Bullets player-of-the-moment Gabadinho Mhango, who had a spectacular season scoring 14 league goals and 26 in all competitions, won the Player of the Season Award. He got K120 000 (about $307) and a miniature.
He adds the accolade to the Presidential Cup player of the tournament and top goal scorer as well as the Standard Bank Cup top scorer awards.
Bullets goalkeeper Owen Chaima who let in 11 goals in as many games, got the Goalkeeper of the Season Award.
The team’s Eddington Ng’onamo-led technical panel, which also comprised Gerald ‘Papa’ Phiri Snr and Lloyd Nkhwazi as assistant coaches, was named the best coaching panel after they guided Bullets to a respectable second finish, failing to win the title on goal difference having tied with eventual winners Silver Strikers on 58 points.
Bullets were also named the most improved team for finishing second after surviving relegation by a whisker the season before.
To crown it all, Bullets supporters were jointly named with their age-old rivals and counterparts at Mighty Wanderers as the most behaved fans of the season.
Bullets also took home silver medals, K 4.5 million (about $11 538) for finishing as runners-up to the Bankers.
No wonder their chairperson Malinda Chinyama was over the moon with the achievement.
“The awards speak volumes of the revolution that has taken place at the club and we are proud of the achievements of the just ended season. We are planning on how best to celebrate the ended season as well as plan for another exciting season,” said Chinyama.
Gabadinho was also on cloud nine with the award saying: “It is an honour to get the best award in the league in just my second season in the top- flight league. I thank God for the achievement and will continue working hard to achieve even more.”
Silver’s chairperson Dr. McDonald Mafuta-Mwale also expressed delight with his team’s feat.
“It’s not easy to win the national league championship back-to-back. It all boils down to commitment from all stakeholders in particular the players. There was fantastic good spirit,” said Mafuta-Mwale.
Former Bvumbwe Research striker Vincent Chinthenga got the golden boot after finishing as the top scorer with 18 goals. He pocketed K100 000 (about $256).
Silver’s captain Lucky Malata got the Defender of the Season award while Kamuzu Barracks’ Kelvin Malikebu walked away with the best midfielder prize. Blue Eagles winger Micium Mhone got the Most Improved Player Award. They got K80 000 each.
Mafco got the Best Managed Team Award.
In media awards, Nation Publications Limited (NPL) news analyst Peter Kanjere was named the best reporter [print] of the season. Another NPL scribe Singayazi Kaminjolo clinched the third position.
NPL senior news analyst Garry Chirwa got the Best Columnist award that he sha-red with Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) sports editors Pilirani Kachinziri and Duncan Mlanjira. NPL photo-journalist Bobby Kabango was jointly named the best photo-journalist of the season with BNL’s Bonnex Julius.
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) Frank Kandu was named the best journalist [radio] while Paul Kamanga from MBC TV, got the Best Television Journalist of the Year Award.