Honours All Round At Inaugural FAS Nite
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
The inaugural FAS Nite 2017 was held at Marina Bay Sands on Monday (27 November) evening, where the Singapore football fraternity gathered together to celebrate 125 years of Singapore football.
It was also the platform for the FAS to show its appreciation to stakeholders, partners and sponsors, and to recognise outstanding achievements by its staff, volunteers, officials and players, both on and off the field.
Attendees of the event included FAS President Mr Lim Kia Tong and members from the FAS Council as well as former Councils, club representatives, sponsors, and representatives from the stakeholders of Singapore football.
There was double joy for Albirex Niigata (S) with Kazuaki Yoshinaga and Kento Nagasaki picking up the RHB Coach of the Year and Hyundai Player of the Year accolade respectively.
While he was pleased with receiving the award, Yoshinaga was quick to play down the achievement.
"I wasn't expecting it but I was prepared for this award,” admitted the 49-year-old who guided the Japanese outfit to their second consecutive quadruple in domestic football..
“Thanks to everyone at the club as well as our supporters, I could receive this so credit should be given to all of them.”
“I was happy we managed to win not just the S.League, which was our main target, but also the other three competitions.”
Nagasaki was meanwhile delighted with the win but insists he will not rest on his laurels
The attacking midfielder had an impressive season with the defending champions, as he showcased his excellent playmaking and abilities from setplays. .
“Winning this award was one of my targets this year and I managed to do it so it gives me a lot of confidence,” said the 27-year-old, who pipped the likes of Faris Ramli and Stipe Plazibat to the award.
“As football players, we are always thinking of playing at a higher level so I don’t want to be too satisfied with this and I’ll continue to work hard.”
In addition, the White Swans walked away with the Singapore Pools Fair Play award which was given to the club with the best disciplinary record.
Forward Tsubasa Sano also pipped Home United’s Plazibat to the RHB Top Scorer award after scoring 26 goals in the S.League, one more than the Croatian.
Despite attaining a seventh-place finish this term, there was still plenty to rejoice for Balestier Khalsa meanwhile as they picked up two awards.
Hazzuwan Halim was named Great Eastern Young Player of the Year while teammate Huzaifah Aziz bagged the Mitre Goal of the Year for his stunning strike in a 1-0 victory over Garena Young Lions in September.
With his team struggling for goals in the S.League, Hazzuwan has shone for the Tigers this season upfront with eight goals across all competitions.
“Playing as a striker was a challenge but a good one,” said a stunned Hazzuwan, after he fended off the challenges of Irfan Fandi, Hami Syahin and Yasutaka Yanagi.
“I was really surprised (to win this) because I didn't expect it. I would like to thank coach Marko (Kraljevic) for believing in me. He stays back with me after training to practice shooting with me.”
Revealing that he will be staying with the Toa Payoh-based side for 2018, Hazzuwan has set sights on a national team call-up in the near future.
“Maybe it’s my luck to be able to do so well this year but I’m definitely hoping to be in the national team next year and it will be a dream come true if it happens,” added the 23-year-old.