SINGAPORE: CNA Digital reporter Matthew Mohan's tale of a footballer pursuing his dream won Story of the Year at the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) annual awards night on Thursday (Oct 31).
Held at Orchard Hotel, FAS Nite 2019 showcased the best performers of the year from Singapore’s footballing fraternity.
Mr Mohan took top prize in the Story of the Year category for his captivating account of footballer Lionel Tan's decision to interrupt his National Service stint to fight for a spot on the Under-22 national side going to the 2019 SEA Games.
In the story, Mr Mohan wrote of how Mr Tan juggled his National Service demands as he passionately pursued his dream of winning a place in the Under-22 squad going to the Philippines, after missing out on playing action at the 2017 Sea Games in Malaysia.
"I felt that Lionel’s story was one worth telling. Representing the nation clearly mattered to him - whether it be donning NS green or Singapore red," said Mr Mohan.
"His display of remarkable discipline and character really struck me and was one which I hoped to highlight through my feature."
He added: "Sports stories often run the risk of being too results-orientated. I wanted this piece to underscore that beyond the glitz and the glamour of winning, sportsmen put in an incredible amount of effort and that deserves attention."
Mr Tan, 22, was last month named in coach Fandi Ahmad’s 23-man squad for a training camp in Japan, ahead of the SEA Games in the Philippines.
Other winners at FAS Nite 2019 from the Singapore Premier League were Hougang United’s Faris Ramli, who won player of the year; Hami Syahin of Home United, who won young player of the year; and DPMM’s Adrian Pennock, who won coach of the year.
Lions forward Khairul Amri, who recently announced his retirement from international football, was also lauded for his achievements in the sport.
In the Women’s Premier League, Nur Emilia Natasha of Police won player of the year; Tampines Changkat FC’s Nur Umairah Hamdan took home the young player of the year award; and Home United FC’s Azrulnizam won coach of the year.