The shortlists for the Manager and Player of July in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) - League Bloggers Awards (LBA) have been named after long deliberation.
Four players and four coaches were listed among the nominees on Monday to vie for the NPFL-LBA for the month of July.
In the race for the manager's award are Kabiru Dogo of Nasarawa United, Plateau United's Zachary Baraje, Rafael Everton of FC Ifeanyiubah and Imama Amapakabo of Enugu Rangers.
Dogo and Baraje helped their teams amass 10 points from five matches apiece in the month under review and also lost once each. However, Plateau United under Baraje stunned the bookmakers when they won at Abia Warriors by a goal on July 3 and also won 1-0 at MFM FC on the last day of July.
Nasarawa United managed by Dogo notched up two big wins at home against Sunshine Stars and El-Kanemi with identical 3-0 scorelines having added Rivers United to the teams they conquered in July. Their other point came at struggling Ikorodu United where they played out a 2-2 draw on July 24.
FC Ifeanyiubah's Brazilian trainer, Everton and Amapakabo share the same stats for July. Both men guided their teams to unbeaten streaks and got nine points apiece. Rangers' 3-2 win at Akwa United proved a major catalyst in Amapakabo making the shortlists for the manager of July.
The tussle for the July players has quite an interesting field that includes Plateau United goalkeeper, Danladi Isah. The custodian will have to face the trio of outfield players in Abdulrahman Bashir (Nasarawa United), Fortune Omoniwari (Akwa United) and Kingsley Eduwo (Lobi Stars).
Isah kept three clean sheets in July - two on the road at Abia Warriors and MFM FC and then at home to Enyimba. The Plateau United goalkeeper was one of the reasons his team came out of their contest at Abia Warriors as one-nil winners. He then followed up with superb performances against Enyimba and MFM FC. Isah also saved a spot kick at the Agege Stadium in Lagos to help his team to a 1-0 win over MFM FC.
Omoniwari scored thrice for Akwa United in July in their losses at home to Rangers and then away at Warri Wolves while Eduwo netted on matchdays 27, 28 and 29 against Plateau United, Rangers and Warri Wolves to take his tally to three goals in the month under review.
Nasarawa United striker, Bashir, who has been among the shortlists in the past two months, notched up five goals in five matches against Rivers United, 3SC, Sunshine Stars, Ikorodu United and El-Kanemi Warriors.
The winners of the NPFL-LBA for July will be announced this week.
THE SHORTLIST FOR JULY
Abdulrahman Bashir (Nasarawa United)
Fortune Omoniwari (Akwa United)
Danladi Isah (Plateau United)
Kingsley Eduwo (Lobi Stars)
Kabiru Dogo (Nasarawa United)
Zachary Baraje (Plateau United)
Rafael Everton (FC Ifeanyiubah)
Imama Amapakabo (Enugu Rangers)