Just months after joining Ann Arbor Kenyan defender Joseph Okumu has been named the TopDrawerSoccer.com (TDS) 2018 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Player of the Year, as selected by the TDS staff.
The former Chemelil Sugar and Free State Stars defender was a key figure in the team's defence in 10 appearances as they went on to concede just four goals in 12 matches and kept nine clean sheets in the just-concluded regular season.
With the former Green Commandos defender in their back line, Ann Arbor set a record of 488 minutes without conceding a goal in their opening matches of the season.
Okumu made 317 complete passes, 58 clearances, 74 interceptions and won 85 aerial duels. He also had 53 tackles won and made 16 blocks. The statistics made him the first ever Ann Arbor star to win the award and his head coach Head Coach & Sporting Director Eric Rudland believes he deserved the award.
“Over the course of AFC Ann Arbor's young history, there have been a handful of very talented players who have suited up for the club. So for Stanley to be the first player in our club history to be named the Top Drawer Soccer NPSL National Player of the Year is a great honour, and he is very deserving of this award,” said Head Coach & Sporting Director Eric Rudland.
The coach admitted that the defender has lived up to the expectations and has been great since joining the team.
“Stanley lived up to all of the expectations we had for him; he was a great man in the change room, trained every session at full tilt and was an impact player for us in every match. Realistically we couldn't have asked for anything more from him,” added Rudland.
Okumu joined the club in April 2018.