Goal.com names the top three stand-out performers for the Red Lizards in 2011-12 and then declares the overall winner. Have your say below....
Pune FC yet again made a slow start to the season, winning just one of their first six games, and that yet again put paid to any hopes they had of winning the I-League title this season. However mid-way onwards they rallied brilliantly this season to be as high as second in the league at one time, before eventually sliding down to fifth.
It was also an injury ridden season for the club, the jinx hitting their goalkeepers, three to be precise, especially hard, and attacking spearheads Mandjou Keita and Jeje Lalpekhlua were also on the treatment table at different points of time.
Still as a team, Pune FC’s performances really caught the eye. Goal.com has a look at three individuals who had a profound impact on their season and picks a Player of the Season from those three…..
MANDJOU KEITA| ATTACKER
The Guinean Has Been Prolific In Front Of Goal This Season...
It is not a co-incidence that the Guinean’s return from injury coincided with the upturn in fortunes of the Pune based club. 15 goals in 20 games is a record any player, who doesn’t go by the name of Ranti Martins or Odafa Okolie, would be proud of, especially after returning from an injury.
Keita has not only made the net bulge numerous times but also provides a focal point in attack to Derrick Pereira’s side, which makes him an invaluable member of the squad. Blessed with a good touch and great physique, the striker has dominated most of the defenders he has been up against this season, and the Pune FC faithful will already be looking forward to next season, hoping the forward can catapult them towards some silverware next season.
DOUHOU PIERRE| MIDFIELDER
Douhou Has Been The Creative Lynchpin Of This Side...
The Ivory Coast national was a crowd favourite in his earlier stint at the club, and after year in the wilderness, he returned to add a touch of class and creativity into the side’s midfield.
Like others in the team, he took time to settle into his groove this season, but once he got into gear, there was just no turning back for him and the club. Efficient in possession and always capable of picking a pass, his dribbling skills often bought the crowd to its feet. And to add to it, he matched substance with style, as he created numerous goal-scoring opportunities for his attackers throughout the season.
He has already signed a contract extension with Pune FC, news which shall come as a major relief to the fans of the club.
SUBHASH SINGH| ATTACKER
Subhash Has Shown Some Tremendous Skills And Workrate This Season....
The 22 year old striker has experienced a renaissance of sorts this season. Having burst onto the scene as a youngster at Air India, the striker went through a lean period before joining Pune FC on loan 2 seasons back, before signing permanently last summer.
And the club has been rewarded for the faith they have shown in the Manipuri player, as he has come to the fore in the absence of Jeje Lalpekhlua, who picked up an injury mid-way through the season.
7 goals this season speak only half the story of his contribution to the team. His work-rate and speed often cause havoc in the opponent’s defense, leading to mistakes being made, on which his teammates duly capitalize.
The player’s efforts were recently recognized, when he won the “Young Player of the Year” gong in the Pune FC’s award night.
|WINNER: MANDJOU KEITA
|Air India (h) W 2-0
|Churchill Bros (a) W 2-0
|HAL SC (a) W 6-4
It was a close run thing, as Keita and Douhou Pierre both made a huge impact on the team’s fortunes this season, but it was Keita who got the vital goals for the team this season, and with his 15 goals record, he just edges past the Ivory Coast player.
The Guinean has not only been a great goalscorer, but has also been a leader of his team while Subrata Paul has been out injured. A technically accomplished player, Keita is also a fans favourite, as evidenced by him winning the “Fans Player Of The Year” award during the Pune FC award night.
Who Has Been Pune FC's Player of the Season in your view? Let us know by commenting below...