Five DPMM FC players have been named on the 35-men shortlist for the Singapore Premier League (SPL) Team of the Year 2019 in recognition of their stellar performances in the recently-concluded league season.
DPMM FC captain Wardun Yussof, Charlie Clough, Azwan Ali Rahman, Blake Ricciuto and Andrei Varankou have all made the shortlist of nominees.
The Team of the Year is expected to be officially announced during the FAS Nite 2019, which will also see the crowning of the Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year.
Goalkeeper Wardun led the table for the highest number of clean sheets this season with 10.
Defender Clough has been a rock in the DPMM FC defence as local players like Hanif Hamir, Hazwan Hamzah and Yura Indera Putera benefitted under his leadership. While the Taunton-born native illustrated the art of defending with his assured clearances on a regular basis, his vocal presence on the pitch served as motivation to the rest of his teammates.
The Brunei-based outfit will be represented by two midfield nominees. Local star Azwan Ali recaptured the form from the 2015 title-winning season with his trickery and quick movements, causing fear into the Singapore league defences.
Marauding midfielder Blake Ricciuto enjoyed an incredible spell at the start of the season and his contributions for the month of April earned him the Player of the Month as well as the Goal of the Month.
DPMM FC striker Andrei Varankou has been unsurprisingly shortlisted as one of the nominees for striker. Leading the line for the Gegar Gegar men, the Belarussian has been in unstoppable form, which led him to be this season’s top scorer with 21 goals.
Meanwhile, the other goalkeeping nominees are Warriors FC’s Fashah Iskandar, Albirex Niigata’s (S) Kengo Fukudome and Tampines Rovers FC’s Syazwan Buhari.
The fullbacks who have been nominated are Geylang International’s Darren Teh, Balestier Khalsa’s Fadli Kamis, Hougang United’s Hafiz Sujad, Tampines Rovers FC’s Irwan Shah, Hougang United’s Nazrul Nazari and Young Lions’ Zulqarnaen Suzliman.
The DPMM FC supporters will be eagerly waiting in anticipation to see if their defender Clough will partner one of the other nominated defenders including Tampines Rovers FC’s Amirul Adli, Albirex Niigata’s (S) pair Kaishu Yamazaki and Shuhei Sasahara, and Hougang United’s Kong Howon in the Team of the Year.
Azwan Ali and Blake Ricciuto will hope to fill in the heart of midfield, but they will meet competition against the likes of Geylang International’s Barry Maguire, Albirex Niigata (S) pair Daizo Horikoshi and Kyoga Nakamura, Home United’s Hami Syahin, Young Lions’ Jacob Mahler, Tampines Rovers’ Shahdan Sulaiman and Home United’s Song Uiyoung.
The nominated wingers are Hougang United’s duo Faris Ramli and Stipe Plazibat, Warriors’ Gabriel Quak, Tampines Rovers’ pair Jordan Webb and Ryutaro Megumi, and Geylang International’s Shawal Anuar.
The Singapore Premier League’s deadliest striker this season, Varankou, is in fine company in the shortlist for forwards with Geylang International’s Fareez Farhan, Warriors’ Jonathan Behe and Balestier Khalsa’s Sime Zuzul.