|By Bhas Kunju
Singapore swept most of the big awards at the inaugural AFF Awards held in Pahang, Malaysia on Wednesday night.
The 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup winners came home with the National Team of the Year award while Lions captain Shahril Ishak who was also crowned the MVP at the regional competitons clinched the coveted Player of the Year award.
For leading Singapore to a record fourth AFF Championship, former Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic walked away with the Coach of the Year accolade.
Singapore match officials were also not left out of the honour roll. Abdul Malik and Tang Yew Mun won the Referee of the Year (Men) and Assistant Referee of the Year (Men) award respectively.
Shahril together with Tampines Rovers captain Mustafic Fahruddin and LionsXII defender Baihakki Khaizan were also included in the AFF Championship Best XI at the awards.
Avramovic spoke of his delight at winning his award through a media statement.
“I am deeply honoured to be awarded the coach of the year with Singapore national football team," he said.
"2012 was a memorable year as Singapore achieved a record fourth AFF title. It was a great nine-year tenure with the Lions, and the rest of the team at the FAS – without whom this award would not have been possible. I would like to thank FAS President Zainudin Nordin, General Secretary Winston Lee, its management and the backroom staff for the sterling contributions and commitment to the growth of football in Singapore during the past decade. I am confident that Singapore football will continue to progress in the years ahead.”
Shahril also added:"It was a great year for Singapore, and especially so when we attained the AFF Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time last December. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the FAS management for their commitment and support towards local football, including the national team, the fans, as well as the backroom and support staff for their relentless hard work . It is a great honour for me, Bai and Mustafic to have been named in the first XI of this region. We will continue to work hard, build on our success and strive to further develop and improve Singapore football.”
Singapore was also in the running for AFF Member Association of the Year award and the Referee of the Year award in the women's category but lost to Myanmar Football Federation for the first award and Thailand's Pannipar Kanmueng for the latter.
Full list of winners:
AFF Life Service Award : H.E. Tengku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Rithauddeen
ASEAN Goodwill Award : H.R.H. Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar
AFF Best XI (Suzuki Cup 2012):
Goalkeeper : Kawin Thamsatchanan (THA)
Right Back : Nguyen Minh Duc (VIE)
Centre Back : Baihakki Khaizan (SIN)
Centre Back : Panupong Wongsa (THA)
Left Back: Theerathon Bunmathan (THA)
Right Midfield : Kyi Lin (MYA)
Centre Midfield: Safiq Rahim (MAS)
Centre Midfield : Mustafic Fahrudin (SIN)
Left Midfield : Anucha Kitpongsri (THA)
Striker : Mohd Shahril Ishak (SIN)
Striker : Teerasil Dangda (THA)
Best Goal in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 : Teerasil Dangda (THA) Semi Final (1st Leg) Malaysia vs Thailand, December 9, 2012.
AFF Futsal Team of the Year: Thailand
AFF Association of the Year : Myanmar Football Federation
AFF Referee of the Year (Men): Abdul Malik Abdul Bashir (SIN)
AFF Referee of the Year (Women): Abirami Apbai Naidu (SIN)
AFF Assistant Referee of the Year (Men) Nominees:Tang Yew Mun (SIN)
AFF Assistant Referee of the Year (Women) Nominees: Widiya Habibah Shamsuri (MAS)
AFF Player of the Year (Men) Nominees: Mohd. Shahril Ishak (SIN)
AFF Player of the Year (Women) Nominees: Dang Thi Kieu Trinh (VIE)
AFF Youth Player of the Year Nominees: Keoviengphet Liththideth (LAO)
AFF Futsal Player of the Year Nominees: Suphawut Thuenklang (THA)
AFF Coach of the Year (Men’s Team) Nominees: Radojko Avramovic (SIN)
AFF Coach of the Year (Women’s Team) Nominees: Kumada Yoshinori (MYA)
AFF National Team of the Year (Men) Nominees: Singapore
AFF National Team of the Year (Women) Nominees: Vietnam