SINGAPORE: After another thrilling Asian football season, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the nominees for this year’s AFC Annual Awards Oman 2018 which will be held at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat on November 28 at 7 pm.
Kashima Antlers’ Yuma Suzuki and Kento Misao, who were at the heart of the J League side’s first-ever AFC Champions League title triumph last week, lead the nominations in the men’s category with Al Sadd’s Abdelkarim Hassan completing this year’s star-studded cast.
At just 22-years-old, Suzuki, who came through the Kashima youth system, distinguished himself with his all-round play and work rate, scoring twice in the AFC Champions League this season and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Compatriot Kento Misao played an equally integral part in Kashima’s fairy tale season.
The 22-year-old was ever reliant in midfield, breaking down the opposition’s threat with an impressive tackle success rate of 70.8 per cent.
The Japanese pair will face stiff competition from experienced Qatari international Hassan, who showcased remarkable consistency and was a towering figure in Al Sadd’s march to the 2018 AFC Champions League semifinals.
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Australia’s Samantha Kerr will be looking to clinch her second consecutive award after the Perth Glory forward guided the Matildas to a second-place finish at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 in April.
The Australia international, who has scored 27 goals in 72 appearances, is up against China PR’s Wang Shuang whose four goals in Jordan helped the Steel Roses finish third at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018.
Wang’s impressive displays for her former club Dalian Quanjian and country caught the eye of French giants Paris Saint-Germain who offered the 23-year-old a two-year contract in August.
Olympique Lyonnais’ Saki Kumagai completes the world-class line-up in the women’s category. The Japanese skipper, who along with Kerr was nominated for the Best Fifa Football Awards in July, was instrumental in leading the Nadeshiko to their second AFC Women’s Asian Cup title in Amman.
The nominees for the AFC Annual Awards Oman 2018:
AFC Player of the Year (Men)
Kento Misao (Kashima Antlers and JPN)
Yuma Suzuki (Kashima Antlers and JPN)
Abdelkarim Hassan (Al Sadd and QAT)
AFC Player of the Year (Women)
Samantha Kerr (AUS)
Wang Shuang (CHN)
Saki Kumagai (JPN)
AFC Futsal Player of the Year
Ali Asghar Hasanzadeh (IRN)
Mahdi Javid (IRN)
Henmi Katsutoshi (JPN)
AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women)
Fuka Nagano (JPN)
Moeka Minami (JPN)
Saori Takarada (JPN)
AFC Youth Player of the Year (Men)
Jun Nishikawa (JPN)
Jeon Se-jin (KOR)
Turki Al Ammar (KSA)
AFC Coach of the Year (Women)
Asako Takakura (JPN)
Miyo Okamoto (JPN)
Nuengrutai Srathongvian (THA)
AFC Coach of the Year (Men)
Basim Hamdan (IRQ)
Go Oiwa (JPN)
Ravshan Khaydarov (UZB)