Footballer Aleksandar Duric wins Player of the Year award for second year running

By |2008-11-20T15:24:35+08:00November 18th, 2008|football, Nation in Motion|6 Comments
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By Les Tan

Aleksandar Duric S.League Player of the Year

Aleksandar Duric holds up his player of the year award. He is the first player in S.League history to win the award twice. (Photo 1 © Les Tan/Red Sports)

National footballer Aleksandar Duric of the Singapore Armed Forces Football Club was crowned the S.League Player of the Year for the second year running, the first time any player has won the award twice in the 13-year history of Singapore’s only professional sports league.

Duric also won an award for being the top scorer in the S.League with 28 goals to cap off a night to remember for the 38-year-old ethnic Serb who has made Singapore home for the last 10 years and whose two children were born in Singapore. Aleks, who was not on the FAS Foreign Talent Scheme, applied for and received Singapore citizenship in 2007 after having had his application rejected twice.

“I can’t believe it! I really can’t believe it,” said a visibly happy Aleks after receiving the award onstage. “I thought Therdsak should have won it,” referring to his 36-year-old Thai teammate who is the midfield lynchpin for SAFFC.

Does he have the energy to continue playing football next year, despite his heavy commitments with not just club football, but the national team as well?

“At my age, better to play more,” he said. “If I stop, I’m finished. I live to play.”

In a surprise win, Albirex Niigata (Singapore) head coach Hiroaki Hiraoka won the Coach of the Year award, despite two-time winner Richard Bok, coach of SAFFC having a strong case after leading his team to an unprecedented third S.League title this year.

Bowing deeply on stage just before winning the award, Hiraoka said he was surprised, especially since his team had only finished seventh in the 12-team league.

Khairul Amri of Tampines Rovers, who was nominated for the Player of the Year award, won the Young Player of the Year award.

Aleksandar Duric S.League Player of the Year

Aleks holds up both his Top Scorer and Player of the Year awards. He also won the top scorer award last year. (Photo 2 © Les Tan/Red Sports)

Aleksandar Duric S.League Player of the Year

Aleks posing gamely for the cameras after winning his awards. (Photo 3 © Les Tan/Red Sports)

Khairul Amri S.League Young Player of the Year

Khairul Amri of Tampines won the Young Player of the Year award. (Photo 4 © Les Tan/Red Sports)

Aleksandar Duric S.League Player of the Year

The writer with Aleks. The Red Sports interview of Aleks was nominated for the Story of the Year award. (Photo 5 © Dawn Yip/Red Sports)

Related stories:
An interview with Aleksandar Duric (in five parts)
Part 1 – “Sometimes we played with no shoes…”
Part 2 – “If your brother is killed, at least I have you.”
Part 3 – "Once you step out on the field, no more crying."
Part 4 – “Are you sure they play football in Singapore?”
Part 5 – "No drinking, no alcohol, no smoking, no late nights"

6 Comments

  1. saffc fan November 21, 2008 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    i totally agree with uncle les . duric might be old , might he is still one of the fittest in the league . lets dun forget , he was 37 when he was called up to play in the national team .

  2. dazz November 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Don’t you remember a certain van nisterooy who plundered in 43 goals for manchester united the season before he got sold to real madrid.
    He scored mostly tap in’s and people called him a sensation, so if it proves effective to be scoring this way why must he change to a lampard or gerrad style player.

  3. les November 20, 2008 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    After watching some of the strikers on display, it’s a skill to be able to just tap it in.

    The thing is you need to be fit enough to even get into the box to do the simple thing. And Duric has been fit enough to do so.

    So kudos to him.

    If the other players cannot match his consistency by executing the simple things, then he deserves the award.

  4. saffc fan November 20, 2008 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    at least he proved that he still can score goals .

  5. weekoh November 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    no disrespect but all the goals he scores are taps in created mostly by his good teamates like thersak.a 38 year old winning for the 2nd year running? what will people think of the s league?

  6. dazz November 18, 2008 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Whoo, that’s our dear U.LES there.

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