BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Here is what the 2017 National Football Awards winners had to say regarding the recognition they recently received from their peers and the media.
Best Striker - Shahrel Fikri Fauzi (PKNP FC)
"Thanks to PKNP for giving me the opportunity for me to make everyone realise not to underestimate the underdogs. This is the first ever individual honour in my M-League career, I never dreamt that I would be voted as the best striker. I have to work harder next season, so I can earn another nomination."
Best Midfielder, Most Valuable Player - Baddrol Bakhtiar (Kedah)
"In previous years I had only been nominated without winning, but this year it is my time. But it is also a win for Kedah and our fans, who never stopped supporting us and carried us to the finish line. And that support too helped the individual players perform and earn recognition. I've never won the Most Valuable Player award before, so I thank Allah for it."
Best Head Coach - Satiananthan Bhaskaran (Felda United)
"After not coaching for almost one and a half year (before his appointment at Felda), I can't believe that the award is mine. I thank my family especially my wife, and my kids. The management too deserves credit for believing in me and my abilities. Credit too goes to my players, this award is only possible because of their performance. They worked hard, gave their cooperation, to shoot up from 11th to third and reach the Malaysia Cup semis."
Best Foreign Player, Most Popular Player - Liridon Krasniqi (Kedah)
"This is my second time winning the Most Popular Player award, but my target was the Best Foreign Player award. If you perform, the fans are going to appreciate and love you. And I love them too! (My personal target for 2018) is to be again here with you, and you are going to ask me the same question again!"
Best Defender award winner Matthew Davies did not attend the ceremony as he is away in South Korea at Malaysia U23's centralised camp preparing for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship, alongside Best Goalkeeper award winner Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim and Most Promising Youngster Adam Nor Azlin. However, when he was congratulated by Young Tigers head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee on Twitter, he managed to respond with a cheeky request.
Thanks coach, any chance of a day off training for this? https://t.co/5402rA7EnS— Matthew Davies (@matttdavies2) December 23, 2017