With at least one nominee each in every category, southern powerhouse JDT lead the shortlist for the National Football Awards 2015 Presented by 100PLUS and TM which will take place tomorrow night at the Sunway Resort Hotel.
JDT, the back to back champions of the Malaysian Super League, added another momentous silverware to their trophy cabinet this year when they clinched the regional AFC Cup after beating Istiklol FC of Tajikistan in the final.
And not surprisingly that captain and midfielder Safiq Rahim, who was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the AFC Cup 2015 has also been shortlisted for the Best Midfielder award this year.
For the record, Safiq had previously won the award in 2011 and 2012 when he was with Selangor. The other players vying for the accolade this time round are Baddrol Bakthiar from Kedah – winner in 2010 – and Hafiz Kamal from Pahang.
“JDT is the team which people are talking about this year and it will be interesting to see who will come out tops,” said Ms Cariessa Goh, Corporate Affairs Manager, F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd.
“Every year, the Malaysian League has been very keen and this year, I believe that teams have been very competitive to make sure that no single team dominate above everyone else. That can only mean a positive development for Malaysian football.”
Other than JDT winning the season opening Charity Shied and also the Super League, guest team Lions XII from Singapore also marked their final appearance in the domestic league by winning the FA Cup.
And just last week, Selangor then capped the season by winning their 33rd crown of the Malaysia Cup by beating Kedah in front of a full house at the Shah Alam Stadium.
And Ahmad Hazwan, who scored both goals in the win over Kedah, has been shortlisted for the Best Striker Award alongside JDT’s duo of Safee Sali and also Amri Yahyah.
Safee had never won the title before while Amri had previously taken the Best Midfielder award back in 2009 with Selangor.
Another worthy mention this year would be on four-time winner Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) of Kelantan on whether he can wrest the title of the Best Goalkeeper away from Pahang’s Khairul Azhan.
Khairul Azhan won the double in 2014 when he took the Best Goalkeeper title to go with the Most Valuable Player award. And despite having a trophy-less season, Khairul Azhan is still regarded good enough to be among the best in the country.
Other than the two Khairuls, the other player in contention for the beat man between the post this year is JDT’s Farizal Marlias, who last won the title in 2009 with Perlis.
The only category which JDT do not have a representation would be for the Most Promising Player award which will be between Farhan Roslan from Kedah, Mathew Davies from Pahang and also Nazmi Faiz from Selangor.
Farhan was the winner in 2014.
SHORTLISTED PLAYERS for
NATIONAL FOOTBALL AWARDS 2015
Khairul Azhan (Pahang)
Farizal Marlias (JDT)
Khairul Fahmi (Kelantan)
Shukor Adan (Felda United)
Razman Roslan (Pahang)
Aidil Zafuan (JDT)
Baddrol Bakthiar (Kedah)
Safiq Rahim (JDT)
Hafiz Kamal (Pahang)
Safee Sali (JDT)
Ahmad Hazwan (Selangor)
Amri Yahyah (JDT)
BEST FOREIGN PLAYER
Dickson Nwakaeme (Pahang)
Luciano Figueroa (JDT)
Ali Ashfaq (PDRM)
MOST PROMISING PLAYER
Farhan Roslan (Kedah)
Mathew Davies (Pahang)
Nazmi Faiz (Selangor)
Zainal Abidin Hassan (Pahang)
Tan Cheng Hoe (Kedah)
Mario Gomez (JDT)