By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Three Newcastle United players have been nominated for the 2012 African Footballer of the Year award.
Strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, along with midfielder Cheick Tiote, are among an initial 34-man list, which will be whittled down to a top ten by the end of October and then the winner announced at a ceremony in December
Senegal international Ba topped the Magpies' scoring charts last season with 16 goals, and has continued that rich vein of form with six goals already this term.
Fellow countryman Cisse only arrived on Tyneside in January but made an immediate impact, netting 13 goals in as many starts including memorable doubles against Liverpool and Swansea
And Ivorian enforcer Tiote has continued to establish himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the game with some outstanding performances in heart of the Newcastle side.
Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure was named African Footballer of the Year in 2011.