DPMM FC forward Varankou shortlisted for SPL Player of the Year

Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC forward Andrei Varankou is in the running of becoming the first player from his club to win the Singapore Premier League (SPL) Player of the Year after he was shortlisted as one of the nominees.

The lethal striker, who finished the league season as the top scorer with 21 goals and joint assist leader with 10 assists, will be up against Tampines Rovers FC’s Shahdan Sulaiman and Hougang United’s Faris Ramli.

The Belarussian is also in contention for a spot in the Singapore Premier League Team of the Year alongside teammates Wardun Yussof, Charlie Clough, Azwan Ali Rahman and Blake Ricciuto.

Since the Gegar Gegar men first joined the Singapore top flight, no player both local and foreign has won the league’s most prestigious individual accolade, though Azwan Ali has scooped the Young Player of the Year during the 2015 title-winning season.

DPMM FC former coaches Vjeran Simunic and Steve Kean were also recipients of the Coach of the Year awards during past editions of the awards ceremony.

Current DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock is in the frame for Coach of the Year alongside Hougang’s Clement Teo and Noor Ali of Geylang International.

The crowning of the Player of the Year will be the main event during the FAS Nite at the Orchard Hotel Singapore on Thursday. Other highlights during the event will be the Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Year.

Albirex Niigata pair Kyoga Nakamura and Kaishu Yamazaki have been shortlisted as nominees for the Young Player of the Year as well as Home United’s Hami Syahin.

The candidates for Goal of the Year have also been revealed with Kyoga Nakamura, Hougang’s Shahfiq Ghani and Barry Maguire of Geylang International making the list.

Other awards that will be presented during the event also included Referee of the Year, Assistant Referee of the Year, Story of the Year and Photo of the Year.

The latest edition of the awards ceremony will also crown a new Player of the Year who is not an Albirex Niigata (S) player for the first time in five years as the last four winners represented the White Swans.

File photo shows Andrei Varankou (L) celebrating a goal with teammates. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE