Zingalay Wins Player of the Year Award

13 January 2014 at 20:22 | 12335 views

Sierra Leonean international and Dinamo Minsk defender Umaru ’Zingalay’ Bangura (photo) has been voted thesierraleonefootball.complayer of the year 2013 by viewers of the website.

The announcement was made during a live radio sports programme aired worldwide bysierraleonefootball.comon Sunday, a day after the voting ended.

"I’m happy to win the award and I dedicate it to my family and fans," said the 26-year old Bangura after the announcement.

The first time winner of the prestigious award added: "I know it was tough because the others in the race are also good players.
"But I think I deserve it as I gave my best for my club and country. I’ll always do my best for my country and club.Thanks to the viewers of the website for voting me."
"I helped my former Norwegian club Haguesund to qualify for the Europa League and I won the club’s best player award."

"Thesierraleonefootball.comaward has inspired me to do more and I hope it’ll inspire other players to do well. This is a big boost for me to give out my best for my new Belarusian club."

Bangura was against four other shortlisted players, John Bankole Kamara based in Greece, FC Johansen’s George ’Kweku’ Davies and the England based duo of Kei Ansu Kamara and Mohamed ’Medo’ Kamara.

The former Mighty Blackpool defender got over 47% of the votes recorded from 38 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America, beating Medo Kamara to second place by 20%.

John Kamara came third while Kei Kamara who won the maiden award in 2012 finished fourth. Davies came fifth.

Bangura will receive a glittering silver trophy with his name written on it.
The five shortlisted players received the highest number of votes by Sierra Leonean Sports Journalists last month qualifying them to be voted by viewers of the number one website on Sierra Leone

They were nominated based on their performances at both club and national team levels.

Bangura was consistent in his good performances for both club and country.
He played each and every minute of Leone Stars’ five matches in 2013, and at club level, played a vital role to see FK Haugesund qualify for the Europa Cup for the first time in the club’s history and was named the club’s player of the season.

Bangura recently joined Belarusian Premier League club Dinamo Minsk on a two-year contract after spending three seasons with FK Haugesund appearing 81 times for the Norwegian outfit.

He had played for another Norwegian club, Honefoss and Sierra Leone Premier League side Mighty Blackpool.

Bangura made his international debut for Leone Stars against the Eagles of Mali in 2006 in a 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifying match and since then has been a regular player in the team capped 29 times.

He was a member of the Sierra Leone U-17 national team Sierra Stars’s squad that clinched the runners up spot at CAF U-17 Championship in Swaziland in 2003 and subsequently qualified to represent Africa at the FIFA U-17 Championship in Finland the same year.

He’s intelligent, good on the ball and can also operate in the midfield. He’s believed to be one of the finest defenders Sierra Leone has ever produced.

Voting results
Umaru ’Zingalay’ Bangura 47.05%
Mohamed ’Medo’ Kamara 27.05%
John Bankole Kamara 16.89%
Kei Ansu Kamara 7.21%
George ’Kweku’ Davies 1.8%

Winners of thesierraleonefootball.comPlayer of the Year Award
2012: Kei Ansu Kamara
2013: Umaru ’Zingalay’ Bangura

Click on the video clip below to see Zingalay in action. He was then playing for Norwegian club Honefoss: