News Singapore Premier League • September 8, 2021
2021 SPL Awards – August: Šime Žužul and Ilhan Fandi lead the way
SINGAPORE, 8 SEPTEMBER 2021 – Every winner in August’s AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) monthly award category were first-timers, thanks to some stellar performances.
Due to the limited amount of matches in July, matches from the month were included for consideration by the panel, along with all matches in August, for the purpose of this set of monthly awards. Here are your winners for August!
Player of the Month
Balestier Khalsa’s Croatian hotshot was in supreme goalscoring form as he banged in eight goals in six games. This hot streak was part of a nine-match scoring run and the 25-year-old also added two assists to the mix. The Split native’s most memorable performance was during the Tigers’ 5-2 win against Tampines Rovers on 19 August, where he scored his first hat-trick and set up the other two goals. With 14 goals in 17 matches, Šime Žužul will feel that he is in with a chance of winning the Golden Boot.
Young Player of the Month
In a period where his side picked up their first victories of the SPL campaign, Ilhan Fandi was one of their shining lights. The 18-year-old attacker led the line stoically and was a constant menace to opposition defences with his graft, aerial presence and skill. He chipped in with two braces, including a quickfire one against Geylang International – the second goal was a 94th-minute winner to seal a comeback from 2-1 down.
Coach of the Month
Three wins and two draws from seven matches saw Tanjong Pagar United rocket up the SPL table, having only managed one win from the preceding 11 matches. This included an upset of league leaders Albirex Niigata (S), who had not lost a single match prior to their encounter. The revival has been overseen by Hasrin Jailani, who has got his side playing some exciting football to go along with their indomitable fighting spirit. The likes of Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi, Delwinder Singh, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Fathullah Rahmat and Anaqi Ismit have played their parts, while the signings of Zharfan Rohaizad and Shakir Hamzah have proved astute. The former Singapore international can be pleased with his charges’ displays and they now have a shot at breaking into the top four.
Goal of the Month
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Another long-range stunner wins this award and this time it came courtesy of Tanjong Pagar United attacker Luiz Junior. The 31-year-old stole in to pounce on a defensive lapse and instinctively floated a brilliant effort from 45 yards over the hapless Albirex Niigata (S) goalkeeper to steal the headlines and seal a momentous victory.