FPAI Indian Football Awards 2012: Who are the favourites in each individual category?

Goal.com's Ayush Srivastava has a look at the nominees for each category, and picks a likely frontrunner from them for each of the individual awards....
Another I-League season is over, and with it a new set of stars have risen into the national consciousness, while seasoned old professionals have re-established their credentials with their performances over the last campaign.

And deservedly, most of these players have been nominated for the annual edition of the Football Players Association Of India’s (FPAI) awards in various categories of Indian Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Foreign Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year.

So with the awards night just round the corner, Goal.com lists the various nominees in each category, and selects a potential winner for each individual award.


Syed Rahim Nabi
(Mohun Bagan)
Manandeep Singh
(Air India)
Francis Fernandes
(Salgaocar SC)

The Defender Has Had A Satisfying Season On An Individual Level...

It goes without saying that all the three nominees have had a brilliant year at a personal level. While Francis and Manandeep have shown themselves to be players with caliber who could be an integral part of the national team in the future, Nabi has moved on to now being one of the most senior and reliable players in the Indian setup.

And it is the left back’s consistency, for both club and country which sees him nudge ahead of the two youngsters in the reckoning for the title for Indian Player of the Year. Part of a crumbling defence for both, the National team and Mohun Bagan, Nabi himself has been in inspirational form, not only cutting out any danger that might occur down his wing, but also covering for the goof-ups of his fellow defenders.

The Mariners wing-back also attacks with vigour, and has shown great work-rate alongwith quality, whenever he has stepped out on the pitch.


C.S Sabeeth
(Pailan Arrows)
Manandeep Singh
(Air India)
Lalrindika Ralte
(Churchill Bros.)

The Air India Striker Has Been A Real Threat Upfront All Season Long...

The Young Player of the Year is another tightly contested category, as three players who have had a stellar season for their clubs vie for the title. While Sabeeth toiled alone upfront for most of the season with a defensive minded Pailan Arrows, Ralte’s stock continued to rise, as his absence was keenly felt in the Indian midfield during the Challenge Cup, and the former Indian Arrows player was one of the better players for Churchill Brothers this campaign.

However it is Manandeep Singh who must fancy his chances to win the prized award the most. Nominated in all 3 categories for which he was eligible, the Air India striker has been in stellar form for his club, not only scoring 8 goals this season,but also creating several opportunities for his fellow strikers.

His omission from the Indian squad that flew to Nepal was a shocker, as the National team could have included a striker as tireless and opportunistic infront of goal as the former Indian Arrows striker.


Odafa Okolie
(Mohun Bagan)
Douhou Pierre
(Pune FC)
Ranti Martins
(Dempo SC)
Ranti Martins Has Supplied The Goods Infront Of Goal All Season Long...

While Douhou has had a great year with the Red Lizards this year, there is no denying that the award will go to either of Odafa or Ranti, both of whom have had a stellar season for their respective clubs.

While Odafa has had a great season on a personal level, he has though been pipped by Ranti Martins as the top scorer in the league yet again, which makes the Dempo striker the slight favourite to walk away with the title of the best Foreign Player of the Year.

Though Odafa's fans could point to the lack of support he has received from the rest of the support cast at Mohun Bagan, what cannot be denied is that Ranti Martins has not only scored more goals, he has scored them more consistently and at important junctures of the season. The Nigerian has been perhaps the one biggest factor that has led to Dempo winning the title, and so heading into the awards ceremony night, he would definitely fancy his chances to walk away with this prestigious award.

Derrick Pereira
(Pune FC)
Trevor Morgan
(East Bengal)
Armando Colaco
(Dempo SC)

Armando Colaco Has Easily Outwitted His Rivals This Year...

This is one category where a winner can be decided upon in a straightforward manner, since though both Pereira and Morgan acquitted themselves admirably as tacticians of repute, in the end neither was able to lead his side to their expected targets, which they might have set for themselves at the start of the season.

Armando Colaco on the other hand has shown to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), why they should have given him the lengthy contract the Goan so wished for, with the national team and should in all probability, run away with the title of the Coach of the Year.

The long time Dempo coach was instrumental in his side’s I-League triumph this year, as while the squad was definitely one of the most talented, he has built them into a cohesive unit and made changes at key times. The acquisition of Densill Theobald was another masterstroke, as the former World Cupper came into the side when they were going through a difficult stage, and reinvigorated them.

The Fans' Player of the Year award will be decided based on your votes and hence any of the six nominees, namely Odafa Okolie, Ranti Martins, Tolgay Ozbey, Sanju Pradhan, Francis Fernandes and Manandeep Singh, could win this honour.

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