FAS News Singapore Premier League • December 7, 2020
Gabriel Quak named SPL Player of the Year at FAS Awards Night 2020
L-R: Keiji Shigetomi, Gabriel Quak and Saifullah Akbar with their 2020 SPL awards
SINGAPORE, 7 DECEMBER 2020 – The Lion City Sailors won big at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Awards Night 2020 earlier this evening as Gabriel Quak and Saifullah Akbar bagged the two biggest prizes.
Singapore international Quak was named the 2020 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) Player of the Year, while team-mate Saifullah bagged the AIA Young Player of the Year accolade. The Singapore Pools Coach of the Year award went to Keiji Shigetomi of champions Albirex Niigata (S), while Geylang International striker Khairul Nizam took the Mitre Goal of the Year accolade for his sensational long-range rocket against Tampines Rovers on 7 November. With 14 goals to his name, Sailors striker Stipe Plazibat finished as the AIA Top Scorer.
The event marked the end of the domestic professional football season and took place at The Gym, located at Jalan Besar. Outstanding individuals and officials from the SPL received awards to recognise their performances through the 25th season of professional football, which was successfully completed just two days ago despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quak, 29, who finished as the top local scorer with five goals and made the most assists in the league with seven, was delighted with his win. The attacker, who became the 23rd different player to be named Player of the Year, said: “It is an incredible feeling… this dream begun in 2008 actually, when I started playing with the Young Lions. I attended the Awards Night (that year) and saw Aleksandar Duric (Player of the Year) and Khairul Amri (Young Player of the Year) pick up awards, so I thought to myself, ‘I hope to be (up) there one day’. So today was really surreal, you know; like this (dream) is now a reality. So, it is probably gonna take a while to let it sink in… I think each team (I have been with) and each year (I have played) has given me different experiences and lessons; the people I have worked with… (have) taught me different things and helped me to grow stronger mentally and as a person, which I think (has) contributed to who I am today. I definitely also want to thank my family, my wife especially, for their sacrifices; without them, I am actually nothing (and) it is because of them that I can focus on what I do.”
Shigetomi, who led the White Swans to their fourth league title in five seasons two nights ago, is the fifth different Albirex head coach to win the award. The 41-year-old Shimane native said: “I want to say thank you to my players, staff, supporters and (club) partners. The team took things match by match, and focused (on each one)… We are satisfied with the results this season and of course it was a tough season, but I believe the players did their best and worked hard (to eventually win the title).”
Midfielder Saifullah, who established himself as part of the Sailors side in his debut season with the club, became the fifth consecutive Singaporean winner of the Young Player of the Year award. The 21-year-old youth international said: “I would say it is a good season but I am looking forward to a better season (next year). This is a boost for me and (hope) it is the start of something great in the near future. When I came to Lion City Sailors, my goal was to have a decent amount of playing time, week in week out, and I am thankful to Coach Aurelio for giving me the chance and I am very happy with what I have achieved. My dream was to win the SPL but we did not manage it this year, but I am looking forward to a very big year next year with our AFC Cup (campaign), winning the league hopefully and also making the National Team.”
The Team of the Year recognised the season’s best players in a 4-4-2 formation, with goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari (Tampines), defenders Daniel Bennett (Tampines), Kaishu Yamazaki, Tajeli Salamat (both Sailors) and Kazuki Hashioka (Albirex), midfielders Quak, Song Uiyoung (both Sailors), Kyoga Nakamura (Tampines), Kristijan Krajcek (Balestier Khalsa), and forwards Luiz Junior (Tanjong Pagar United) and Plazibat (Sailors) being named to it.
Tampines star Jordan Webb was recognised for scoring 100 goals in the SPL, while current Singapore Men’s National Team captain Hariss Harun was also honoured for attaining a century of international caps for the Lions. Five SPL club officials – Goh Koon Hiang, Premjit Singh (both Tampines), Roy Krishnan (Albirex), Lim Kia Meng (Hougang United) and Cheng Tim Nee (Balestier) – were, along with R. Vengadasalam (Woodlands Lions), recognised for their contributions to Singapore football.
Due to current safe-distancing measures, this year’s event was attended only by relevant personnel, such as all award recipients, presenters and essential event crew. As with previous years, the Awards Night was streamed “live” online in order for fans to follow the night’s proceedings.
The FAS congratulates all winners from the FAS Awards Night 2020. Please see below for the full list of winners.
|AIA Singapore Premier League|
|AIA Player of the Year||Gabriel Quak||Lion City Sailors FC||Gabriel Quak|
|Stipe Plazibat||Lion City Sailors FC|
|Tomoyuki Doi||Albirex Niigata FC (S)|
|AIA Young Player of the Year||Harith Kanadi||Geylang International FC||Saifullah Akbar|
|Jacob Mahler||Young Lions|
|Saifullah Akbar||Lion City Sailors FC|
|SINGAPORE POOLS Coach of the Year||Aurelio Vidmar||Lion City Sailors FC||Keiji Shigetomi|
|Gavin Lee||Tampines Rovers FC|
|Keiji Shigetomi||Albirex Niigata FC (S)|
|MITRE Goal of the Year||Khairul Nizam||Geylang International FC||Khairul Nizam|
|Luiz Junior||Tanjong Pagar United FC|
|Reo Nishiguchi||Albirex Niigata FC (S)|
|AIA Top Scorer||Lion City Sailors FC||Stipe Plazibat|
|POLAR Fair Play Award||Albirex Niigata (S)|
|WARRIX Referee of the Year||Ahmad A’Qashah Bin Ahmad Al’Badowe||N.A||Ahmad A’Qashah Bin Ahmad Al’Badowe|
|Farhad Bin Mohamed||N.A|
|Foo Chuan Hui Jansen||N.A|
|WARRIX Assistant Referee of the Year||Abdul Hannan Bin Abdul Hasim||N.A||Ronnie Koh Min Kiat|
|Ronnie Koh Min Kiat||N.A|
|Tan Mint Land Andy||N.A|
|Team of the Year||Goalkeeper||Tampines Rovers FC||Syazwan Buhari|
|Defenders||Lion City Sailors FC||Kaishu Yamazaki|
|Lion City Sailors FC||Tajeli Salamat|
|Tampines Rovers FC||Daniel Bennett|
|Albirex Niigata FC (S)||Kazuki Hashioka|
|Midfielders||Lion City Sailors FC||Gabriel Quak|
|Lion City Sailors FC||Song Uiyoung|
|Balestier Khalsa FC||Kristijan Krajcek|
|Tampines Rovers FC||Kyoga Nakamura|
|Forwards||Lion City Sailors FC||Stipe Plazibat|
|Tanjong Pagar United FC||Luiz Junior|
|FAS Recognition Awards (For Contribution to Singapore’s Pillars of Football)|
|Sporting Excellence||Hariss Harun|
|Capability Development||Cheng Tim Nee|
|Vibrant Football Culture||Goh Koon Hiang|
|Lim Kia Meng|