|FROM ITE COLLEGE EAST
By Khalis Rifhan
The 17th Great Eastern YEO'S S.League Awards Night was held on Sunday night at the auditorium and function hall of ITE College East, where the finest of Singapore football were honoured for their efforts both on and off the pitch for the 2012 season.
The night's top honour went to evergreen Tampines Rover striker Aleksandar Duric, as the 42-year-old was awarded the Great Eastern Player of the Year accolade. The Bosnian-born Singapore international had been instrumental in his team's journey to retain the S.League title, as well as their run to the RHB Singapore Cup final.
It was Duric's third time winning the award, and the Stags' team manager Zulkarnaen Zainal collected the award on his behalf as the player was away on national-team duties.
Harimau Muda winger Wan Zack Haikal was a double-winner for the night, as he picked up the YEO’S Young Player of the Year and YEO’S People Choice awards.
Perhaps one of the emotional moments of the night occured when Brunei DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic was announced as the winner of the Mikasa Coach of the Year award.
The Croatian thanked his Bruneian players for not giving up despite having to sit out from professional football for two years due to a ban imposed by FIFA, as they managed a very respectable runners-up finish.
Although DPMM lost out on the league title to Tampines, the former Hadjuk Split goalkeeper masterminded his team's victory in the StarHub League Cup final against Geylang United, which was their second win in the competition.
SAFFC midfielder Shukor Zailan also took to the stage as he bagged the Tiger Beer Goal of the Year award for his goal against Woodlands Wellington FC.
Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) were recognized with the Singapore Pools Fair Play award, which captain Norihiro Kawakami accepted on the team's behalf.
Goal.com Singapore also went home with an award, as Zeng Liwei's photograph of Tanjong Pagar captain Delwinder Singh and Tampines skipper Duric was chosen as the Singapore Pools Picture of the Year.
Winners for 2012 S.League Awards Night
Great Eastern Player of the Year: Aleksandar Duric (Tampines Rovers FC )
YEO’S Young Player of the Year: Wan Zack Haikal (Harimau Muda)
Mikasa Coach of the Year Nominees: Vjeran Simunic (Brunei DPMM FC)
YEO’S People Choice Award Winner: Wan Zack Haikal (Harimau Muda)
RHB Top Scorer Winner: Frederic Mendy (Home United FC)
Singapore Pools Fair Play Award: Albirex Niigata (S) FC
Great Eastern Referee of the Year: Abdul Malik
Waga Assistant Referee of the Year: Eugene Chan
Polar Fan Club of the Year: Hougang United FC
Tiger Beer Goal of the Year: Shukor Zailan (Singapore Armed Forces FC)
FAS Special Award Winner: Maniam Murugiah
Singapore Pools Picture of the Year: Zeng Liwei – Two Captains – Present vs Future, Goal.com
RHB Story of the Year: Nicholas Neo – A battle between boots and books (FootballOPOD.com)