Home United defender Sirina Camara capped a fine debut season when he lifted the Singapore Cup on Friday, after helping his team rout Tanjong Pagar United 4-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The centre-back opened the scoring by being in the right place at the right time to bundle home the rebound after Kwon Dakyung's header came back off the bar in the 13th minute.
The 22-year-old also helped the Protectors finish second in the league and has impressed since joining from the Courts Young Lions prior to the start of this season, which has been recognised by Goal Singapore readers.
The Frenchman, who has featured on a few occasions in central defence but was mostly used as a left winger/left-back during his time at Etoile and then Young Lions, has enjoyed a superb stint permanently at centre-back this year. Wily coach Lee Lim Saeng clearly saw his potential and placed him in central defence early on in the campaign, usually partnering skipper Noh Rahman.
That has proved to be an inspired move, with Camara's speed and strength aiding him, while his attacking instincts see him contribute to offensive moves by helping to launch them. Camara is also a threat at set-pieces, able to score from or with them, while he hit a Goal of the Season contender against Albirex Niigata on Monday with a jaw-dropping 35-yard sidefooted effort.
It is no wonder 53.3% of Goal Singapore readers voted him as their choice to win the YPOTY award, ahead of Mamadoi Diallo (20%), Kazuki Sakamoto and Kento Nagasai (both 13.3%) and Song Ui Young (0%).
The awards will be presented tonight at the S.League awards show, with Goal Singapore in the running for Picture of the Year with a record four nominations in the category.