By Shina Oludare
The nominees for the Goal Nigeria Player of the Year Award, which will be voted for by the readers of the site at the beginning of December will be announced on Monday, December 2.
Ahead of the much-anticipated announcement, we have gauged the minds of our readers to guess the possible names that will be in contention for the award.
Here are a few of them:
“I vote for Vincent Enyeama. He has been consistent for both club and country. He captained the Super Eagles to Africa Cup of Nations glory and also led the team to World Cup qualification. Aside from this, he boasts of the highest number of clean sheets in the European league this season.” - Enefiok Udo Ubong, Olympics gold medalist (Athletics) Sydney 2004.
“In recent time, [Mikel] has been splendid playing a more mature role in his team. He is the pivot of the Super Eagles and also encourages the team. Though, I may not like his face when he wears the blue jersey of Chelsea, he has been awesome this year.” – Itunnu Levi Akorede, Business Development Officer, Dallas Texas.
"Emenike has been consistent and probably the only hope we have in front of opponents’ goal. His absence at the Fifa Confederations Cup explained the reason behind our early exit from the competition. He is fast, creative, energetic and a goal getter extraordinaire.”- Akinnawo Babatope, Teacher, Akure, Ondo State.
“I'll go for Emenike because of his goal scoring prowess and also based on the fact that he was really helpful in Nigeria’s journey to becoming African champions. His consistency has also proved that we can get a replacement for the legendary Yekini. Besides, Super Eagles’ quest for an improved outing in the 2014 Fifa World Cup grossly depends on him.” - Adetunji Seun Ladoja, sports instructor, Akure.
“No one else deserves it apart from John Mikel Obi. His performance at the Nations Cup, Confederations Cup and during the World Cup qualifiers was breath-taking. Little wonder Jose Mourinho has found him valuable in his team at the Stamford Bridge.” - Apanisile Oluseye, student, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
“John Obi Mikel is the man. His Africa Cup of Nations, Confederations Cup exploits plus a great season with Chelsea tells it all.”- Emmanuel Tobi, sports editor, Lagos.
“I will go for Emmanuel Emenike because he scored most of our vital goals at the Afcon and World Cup qualifiers.” – Lawal Damilola Olaitan, student, University of Ilorin.
“Though I am neither a sports nor football person, I feel Obi Mikel has been so consistent with the national team and he contributed immensely to our winning the Nations Cup and qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.” – Ola Obitusin, international oil trader/shipping expert, Lagos.
“Mikel has performed above expectations. He is an experienced footballer who skilfully managed the midfield for the Super Eagles and is doing a brilliant job in the heart of Chelsea’s defence. I'm sure you know it’s not easy combining these different roles effectively. Mikel is the right person for the award.” - Imolehin Babakayode, admin officer, Qatar.
“Ogenyi Onazi has been fantastic for both Nigeria and Lazio in the year under review. I watched him play for the Super Eagles in Calabar and despite the shabby display of Keshi’s men he shone like a million stars.” – Olajide Flora, sports caster, Akure.
“Emenike stands tall amongst other contestants. His contributions to Super Eagles success this year have been terrific. Not only that, he has made his impact felt for his club too scoring crucial goals in important games.” – Tolu Awosika, civil servant, Ondo.
“Left for me, I will pick Mikel. He is the most experienced of all the likely candidates. He has played in many top tournaments and won many titles. He is still very active in major club games and quite consistent.”- Apemiye Precious, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
So, who gets your vote?
Voting for the Goal Nigeria Player of the Year Award opens on December 2, 2013. Use the hashtag #GoalNigeriaPOTY in your Twitter discussions.