SINGAPORE - Players from each of the top three teams in the recently concluded Singapore Premier League (SPL) season are up for the top player gong at this year's Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Nite ceremony.
The FAS announced the list of nominees for the various awards in a media statement on Thursday (Oct 24) evening. The winners will be feted at the FAS Nite 2019 next Thursday (Oct 31) at Orchard Hotel Singapore.
SPL top scorer Andrei Varankou, who plundered 21 goals in 22 games for champions Brunei DPMM, is among three players shortlisted for the Player of the Year Award.
He faces competition from Tampines Rovers skipper Shahdan Sulaiman, who enjoyed a fine season in midfield as the Stags finished runners-up, and Faris Ramli, who scored 16 goals in 21 games for a Hougang United side that finished third.
Said 31-year-old national midfielder Shahdan: "I was caught by surprise to receive this nomination, and wasn't expecting it at all.
"However, I feel this recognition is a result of the whole team playing well. So I feel like this nomination is not only for me personally, but everyone in Tampines Rovers."
DPMM also have Adrian Pennock shortlisted for the Coach of the Year gong, alongside Hougang United's Clement Teo and Geylang International's Mohd Noor Ali, who guided a young team to a fifth-placed finish in the nine-team SPL.
Albirex Niigata, who finished the season empty-handed for the first time since 2014, could still have reason to celebrate as they have two players - defender Kaishu Yamazaki, 22, and midfielder Kyoga Nakamura, 23 - shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year award.
Home United's 20-year-old midfielder Hami Syahin, who made his debut for the senior national team against Yemen in September, is also up for the award.
Meanwhile, Geylang midfielder Barry Maguire's sweet volley against the Young Lions is the front-runner for the Goal of the Year award, with strikes by Hougang's Shahfiq Ghani (against DPMM) and Nakamura (against Home) also shortlisted.
The Straits Times correspondents Sazali Abdul Aziz and David Lee are both up for the Story of the Year award, with Channel NewsAsia Digital journalist Matthew Mohan also nominated.
LIST OF NOMINEES FOR MAJOR AWARDS
Player of the Year: Andrei Varankou (DPMM), Faris Ramli (Hougang), Shahdan Sulaiman (Tampines)
Young Player of the Year: Hami Syahin (Home), Kaishu Yamazaki, Kyoga Nakamura (both Albirex)
Coach of the Year: Adrian Pennock (DPMM), Clement Teo (Hougang), Mohd Noor Ali (Geylang)
Goal of the Year: Kyoga Nakamura (Albirex), Barry Maguire (Geylang), Shahfiq Ghani (Hougang)
Referee of the Year: Farhad Mohamed, G. Letchman, Juherman Zaiton
Assistant Referee of the Year: Ronnie Koh, Abdul Hannan Abdul Hasim, Ong Chai Lee
Women’s Player of the Year: Nur Izyan Ahmad (Simei United), Nur Emilia Natasha (Police SA), Nabilla Aina (Home United)
Women’s Young Player of the Year: Nur Umairah Hamdan (Tampines Changkat), Nur Emilia Natasha (Police SA), Winette Lim (Home United)
Story of the Year: Sazali Abdul Aziz, David Lee (both The Straits Times), Matthew Mohan (Channel NewsAsia Digital)
Photo of the Year: Ko Po Hui (Bolasepako.com), Chua Boon Ping (Junpiter Futbol), Matthew Mohan (Channel NewsAsia Digital)