(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The ?red knights won five of the eight categories and also had five players in the best xi of the year.
winners of the arabian gulf league awards at st. regis abu dhabi corniche on saturday. — kt photos by nezar balout
al ahli have been the team to beat his season. they landed three pieces of silverware and it was no surprise that the dubai club swept the second edition of the arabian gulf league awards at a slick ceremony at the st regis hotel in abu dhabi on saturday.
the ‘red knights won five of the eight categories and also had five players in the best xi of the year. al ahli won the fans player of the year coach of the year foreign player of the year emirati player of the year and goalkeeper of the year.
al ahli captain and striker grafite won the foreign player of the year for the second time in a row. the brazilian had won the inaugural etisalat uae pro-league awards last season after which the competition and the awards were rebranded.
the 35-year-old who was al ahli’s top scorer with 19 goals the fourth highest in the league beat out a stellar field which included teammates ciel and hugo viana al ain’s asamoah gyan al jazira’s abdelaziz barrada al wahda’s sebastian tagliabue among others. grafite gyan and tagliabue were in the final three.
officials conduct the draw for the arabian gulf league season 2014-2015. — kt photo
al ahli coach cosmin olaroiu won the coach of the year. the romanian was by far the best coach plotting al ahli’s assault of the arabian super cup arabian gulf league and the arabian gulf cup. he beat al wahda’s jose peseiro and al sharjah’s paulo bonamigo.
ismail al hammadi beat al ahli teammate majed hassan and al jazira’s ali ahmed mabkhout to win the emirati player of the year award.
saif yousif won the goalkeeper of the year award after he pipping al jazira’s and uae first choice’s ali khaseif and al sharjah’s mohammed yousif.
al ahli’s majed hassan was adjudged the fans player of the year. al ain’s asamoah gyan won the top scorer of the year award after notching up 29 goals in 26 league games. he has been the top scorer in the league for the third consecutive year. his overall tally is a whopping 82 league goals since moving to al ain from english premier league club sunderland in 2011.
al sharjah’s yousif saeed was adjudged the rookie of the year. the 19-year-old beat fellow 19-year-old ali salmeen of al wasl and 18-year-old ahmed rabia al ghilani of al jazira who has earned a call-up to the uae team.
al jazira were adjudged the professional club of the year. the winner was decided based upon club licensing rankings evaluating each club from an operational perspective in line with afc criteria and uae club licensing regulations.
al ahli goalkeeper saif yousif defender basheer saeed midfielders majed hassan and ismail al hammadi and striker grafite were the ones to find spots in the best xi of the year. the others were defenders al wahda’s eisa ahmed al shabab’s walid abbas and al nasr’s mahmoud khamis midfielders al ain’s omar abdulrahman and al sharjah’s kim jung woo and al ain striker asamoah gyan.
the awards were held under the patronage of shaikh hazza bin zayed al nahyan national security advisor deputy chairman of abu dhabi executive council and honorary president of the uae fa.
it was attended by shaikh nahyan bin mubarak al nahyan minister of culture youth and community development.
the mc for the event yaqoob al saadi director of programmes at abu dhabi sports channel began the ceremony by explaining the voting processes to decide the winners of each category before introducing videos of all the nominees and their highlights of the season.
shaikh nahyan was joined by yousuf al serkal president of the uae football association mohammed thani murshed al romaithi chairman of the pro league committee and chairman of the executive office and mohammed ibrahim al mahmood chairman of abu dhabi media to present the awards.