SINGAPORE - With eight clean sheets, at least three more than any other goalkeeper, Albirex Niigata No. 1 Takahiro Koga has become the winner of the inaugural Singapore Premier League (SPL) Golden Glove award for the custodian with most shut-outs this season.
The 22-year-old is part of a list of the 2021 Football Association of Singapore Awards Night winners and nominees that was announced on Thursday (Oct 7), with the ceremony to be held at the Aux Media Studio next Tuesday.
As expected, the list is dominated by players and officials from the top three SPL clubs Lion City Sailors, Albirex Niigata and Hougang United as the season reaches a climax on Sunday, with the Sailors and Albirex separated only by goal difference going into the final round.
The Player of the Year gong will be contested among the SPL's current top scorer Tomoyuki Doi from Hougang United, and Sailors defender Jorge Fellipe and their top striker Stipe Plazibat.
The Coach of the Year award sees last year's winner Keiji Shigetomi from Albirex go up against Hougang's Clement Teo and Young Lions' Philippe Aw. The Sailors' Kim Do-hoon is not eligible as he does not meet the minimum criteria of having led a team for a minimum of six months.
Sailors midfielder Saifullah Akbar will also attempt to defend his Young Player of the Year crown against teammate Nur Adam Abdullah and Albirex's Ryoya Taniguchi.
The final nominees and eventual winners of the Player, Coach, Young Player, Goal and SPL Team of the Year awards were selected by a panel comprising the current head coaches, captains, and general managers from the eight SPL clubs, as well as FAS technical director Joseph Palatsides, FAS head of elite youth Fandi Ahmad and five media representatives.
In the subsidiary awards, The Straits Times' journalist Kimberly Kwek's report on the lengths Singapore's female footballers go to play in Australia has been nominated for Story of the Year alongside two other contenders.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and safe management measures, this year's event will be attended by only relevant personnel such as award winners, presenters and essential event crew.
The FAS Awards Night will be streamed online on the FAS' Facebook page and YouTube channel from 7.30pm to allow fans to follow the proceedings.
FAS Awards Night 2021 nominees
AIA Player of the Year: Jorge Fellipe (Lion City Sailors), Stipe Plazibat (Sailors), Tomoyuki Doi (Hougang United)
AIA Young Player of the Year: Nur Adam Abdullah (Sailors), Ryoya Taniguchi (Albirex Niigata), Saifullah Akbar (Sailors)
Polar Mineral Water Coach of the Year: Clement Teo (Hougang), Keiji Shigetomi (Albirex), Philippe Aw (Young Lions)
SELECT Goal of the Year: To be announced after final round
SELECT Referee of the Year: Farhad Mohd, Jansen Foo, Ahmad A'Qashah
SELECT Assistant Referee of the Year: Andy Tan Mint Land, Lim Kok Heng Ivan, Ronnie Koh Min Kiat
SPL Golden Glove: Takahiro Koga (Albirex)
Story of the Year: After years in the wilderness and a winless season, Tanjong Pagar aim to build on victory (Matthew Mohan, Channel NewsAsia), Herding cows, picking fruit: What S'pore's female footballers do to play in Australia (Kimberly Kwek, The Straits Times), Leaving no child behind at HotShotz football clinic (Dilenjit Singh, The New Paper)
Photo of the Year: Air Ilhan (Leo Shengwei, Playmaker), Battle Above The Ground (Siaw Woon Chong, Junpiter Futbol), Watching Your Back (Chua Boon Ping, Junpiter Futbol)
To be announced at awards ceremony:
Singapore Pools Fair Play
AIA SPL Team of the Year
FAS Special Recognition Awards