King Faisal may have escaped relegation by a hair's breadth but their enterprising midfielder Kweku Essien could become the recipient of the biggest individual prize in the Onetouch Premiership as he competes with Ashantigold's Alhaji Momo Sannie and Kwadwo Asamoah of Liberty Professionals as the league's best player.
All three players were outstanding in the 30-week competition as recipients of the Player-of-the-Match awards on many occasions, with Essien leading the pack with nine awards, scoring three goals in the league, one less than Sanni's haul of four goals for the Soccer Miners.
The statistics may prove valuable in the selection of the winner of the coveted award at tomorrow's PLB Onetouch Awards night. However, but the participation by the public in the exercise through SMS text voting, has created uncertainty over who drives home the winner's prize of a brand new VW Polo saloon car.
It might just be the week for the Essiens, with the Faisal midfielder tipped to grab the local PLB-Onetouch prize to emulate his more celebrated Chelsea namesake Michael who this week received the continental award by the BBC.
Sanni is also in line for another award as he competes with goal-king Emmanuel Clottey of Accra Great Olympics and Tema Youth's 17-year-old sensation, Ekow Benson for Woodin Discovery of the Year prize.
The involvement by the public in the selection (40 per cent of the total votes) could throw up very interesting results in the other award categories, with the media mileage that candidates enjoy could sway public votes in their favour, particularly because there were no clear criteria for shortlisting the nominations.
Asante Kotoko's gangling centre-back Isaac Vorsah battles it out with Ashgold's Jonathan Quartey and Yahya Mohammed of Tema Youth for the best defender award, while goalkeepers Ernest Sowah of Tema Youth, Isaac Akon of Gamba All Blacks and Joseph Addo of Sekondi Hasaacas vie for the Most Promising Goalkeeper of the Season award, in recognition of their outstanding performance in the league.
Another keen contest is expected when the spotlight falls on the coaches, with Ashantigold's David Duncan, who guided the Obuasi club to finish in second place in the league, facing a challenge from two expatriates, Mitko Dobrev, the Bulgarian who led Hearts of Oak to reclaim the league title and Dutchman Hans van der Pluym, who masterminded Heart of Lions' impressive run.
Ashgold's Chief Executive Kudjoe Fianoo goes into a contest with Olympics' Eric Afotey Odai and Walter Yankah of Lions for the Chairman of the Year award that could go in favour of Fianoo, who for the second year is leading Ashgold to the MTN Champions League.
Other competitive award categories involve the Knights of the Whistle, with Tema-based FIFA referee and ex-Black Queens player, Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo battling it out with Class One referees, Cecil Fletcher and Daniel Offei, for the Referee of the Season award.
A number of awards have been predetermined based on the just-ended Premiership. As league champions, Hearts are automatic winners of the Champion Club award, just as Emmanuel Clottey takes the Goal-king award after finishing the season as the highest scorer with 14 goals, while Lions take the Top Scoring Club award with 40 goals.
Story by Maurice Quansah