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Indian Football: Who is Minerva Punjab's player of the season?

Goal.com logo Goal.com 17-05-2017

Minerva Punjab's inaugural season in the I-League has not really been the rosiest of stories with the Warriors beset with woes including allegations of nonpayment of salaries and poor ground conditions at the Guru Nanak stadium in Ludhiana.

The Surinder Singh coached side failed to qualify for the Federation Cup after finishing outside the top-eight positions but will take solace in the fact that their performances did not merit the wooden spoon, which went Mumbai FC's way.

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They had a good mix of youngsters like Baoringdao Bodo, Anirudh Thapa and Arnab Das Sharma who all had their moments during the course of the season. But let's take a look the the three players who defined their I-League performances.

2. KAREEM OMOLAJA NURAIN

It seems ironic that a centre-back is one of the best players for a side that shipped 33 goals in 18 games, the highest among all the I-league teams. But Kareem Omolaja was not just a centre-back for the Warriors who also made use of him occasionally as a striker.

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He assimilated 14 appearances for Minerva, showcasing some clean tackling and also proving himself a valuable threat in attack as well. He scored three goals for Minerva Punjab and his free-kicks were always a potent weapon. His goals always benefitted Surinder SIngh's side, seeing that one was a late equaliser against Aizawl FC and one came in a winning cause against Churchill Brothers.

1. LOVEDAY ENYINNAYA

Loveday Enyinnaya has been another ever-present fixture in the Minerva Punjab first team this season. Though the team conceded goals galore, one felt it could have much worse if the Nigerian centre-back had not been part of the team.

He was adept in aerial challenges and was one of the few consistent performers in a team that lacked that quality collectively.

Like Kareem Nurain, Loveday was a great help for the team upfront too. He also scored three goals for the Punjab team, the joint-highest with Nurain. The 27-year-old was one of the few shining lights in a poor season for the team from Punjab.

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