The Football Players Association of India’s (FPAI) Indian football awards night 2012 took place amidst much fanfare at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa in Panjim and saw Syed Rahim Nabi being crowned the Indian Player of the Year while Manandeep Singh and Ranti Martins walked away with the Young Player of the Year and Foreign Player of the year awards.
Francis Fernandes took away the Fans' Player of the Year gong, voted for by the Indian football followers themselves, while there was some shock amongst the crowd when Trevor Morgan pipped favourite Armando Colaco to the Coach of the Year title. Colaco had to console himself with the satisfaction that his club, Dempo SC was voted as the Team of the Year, which was chosen by 15 players from the FPAI Executive Committee.
Climax Lawrence, Samir Naik and Mahesh Gawli, all of whom announced their retirement from international football were also felicitated for their services to Indian football.
The awards night began with several household I-League players in attendance, Brendan Schwab, the FIFPro Asia Chairman, and former New Zealand captain Tim Brown added star value to the occasion.
Manandeep Won The Young Player Of The Year Award...
The ceremony began with the FPAI Top 11 being announced to the gathering, with the best eleven consisting of Karanjit Singh in goal, Deepak Mandal, Mahesh Gawli, Uga Okpara, Syed Rahim Nabi in defence, Rocus Lamare, Douhou Pierre, Roberto Mendes da Silva, Penn Orji in midfield and Odafa Okolie partnering Ranti Martins upfront.
Soon afterwards the individual awards ceremony began in real earnest, with Manandeep Singh picking up the Young Player of the Year award, the first of the three categories he was nominated in, edging out competition from C.S Sabeeth and Lalrindika Ralte.
This was followed by Dempo SC being awarded the Team of the Year title however the real surprise of the night was in store next, as Trevor Morgan was announced as the winner of the Coach of the Year, ahead of Armando Colaco. With the British coach not in attendance, Alvito D’Cunha picked up the trophy on his behalf.
A jersey signed by Brazilian legend Ronaldo was then auctioned off, with the base price being 2 Lakhs INR.
Francis Fernandes Being Awarded The Fans Player Of The Year Title...
After the auction was completed, Francis Fernandes was announced as the Fans' Player of the Year, much to the delight of the Salgaocar midfielder.
Following a short entertainment session with performers from Manipur putting up a dance routine, the Foreign Player of the Year was given away, with Ranti Martins, top scorer in the I-League for the second year in a row with 32 goals, awarded the prestigious title. With the Nigerian not present at the ceremony, his former Dempo team-mate, Ogba Kalu accepted the award on his behalf.
Mahesh Gawli, Climax Lawrence and Samir Naik, who have recently retired from International football after more than a decade of dedicated service, were then felicitated.
Brendan Schwab And Tim Brown Gave Away The Indian Player Of The Year Award...
Up next was the final award of the night, and it was Syed Rahim Nabi who was then named as the Indian Player of the Year, ahead of Manandeep Singh and Francis Fernandes, with Bhaichung Bhutia receiving the award from FifPro President Brendan Schwab and former New Zealand skipper Tim Brown for the Mohun Bagan left-back, who was away on club duty.
And that bought to an end the 2012 edition of the FPAI Awards, held in Panjim, Goa.
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