His right foot was in a cast as he trudged onto the stage holding crutches. But all that hardly dampened the joy of Mohammed al Musalami, the Fanja captain, as he collected his maiden Player of the Season trophy at the Oman Football Association (OFA) Awards for the 2015-2016 season, held at Crowne Plaza Hotel on Saturday evening.
The 26 year old national team defender - recuperating from an ankle surgery - was delighted to accept the award from H E Abdullah al Harrasi, the Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and TV, in the presence of Sayyid Khalid al Busaidy, the OFA chairman.
“It is an honour to receive the award, but this wouldn't have been possible without my teammates. I owe this to my team,” said the soft-spoken Musalami. “This is the icing on the cake for me as Fanja won the Omantel Professional League (OPL) title.
And for me, it was the first domestic title and now the best player's award - it has been a satisfying season.”
The defender, who is a regular member of the national side, was however, reluctant to reveal his future plans. “I am open to offers from overseas clubs, but I have not yet decided. There is still time to decide on my future,” he said.
Musalami had a minor operation on his right ankle in Qatar and he hopes to be back in action in the coming weeks. Riyadh Subeit of Al Arouba, which finished third in the OPL, was named the best goalkeeper, while OPL runner-up Al Suwaiq coach, Abdulrazak al Khairi, was adjudged the best coach.
Hamdan bin Said, manager of Salalah Club, which got relegated to the first division, was named as the best manager, while Sohar's Croatian striker Fedran Gers emerged as the top-scorer of the league with 14 goals.
Earlier, the top three clubs of the different leagues (U16, U19, U21, first and second divisions) were awarded along with the respective league's best player, top-scorer, best manager, best goalkeeper, best coach and fair play winner.
Also honoured were His Majesty's Cup winner , Saham, and runner-up Al Khabourah, media organisations and OFA’s marketing partners. Speaking on the occasion, Sayyid Khalid expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders for making the 2015-2016 season successful.
“It is still a long way to achieve what we have set for, but I am happy that we are on the right track. With the support of all, we want to continue developing the game in the sultanate,” he said. On this occasion, coaches of the age-group national teams and the national beach soccer team were also felicitated.
Other awardees: Mazda Professional Cup: Top-scorer: Abdulrehman al Ghassani (Fanja).
First division league: 1 Rustaq, 2 Oman, 3 Jaalan; top-scorer: Shauki al Raqadi (Bausher), best goalkeeper: Mohammed Dheeb (Oman), best player: Issam al Barhi (Rustaq), best coach: Mustafa Suwaib (Rustaq), best manager: Jassim al Hassani (Jaalan).
Second division league: 1 Bidiya, 2 Salam, 3 Al Wusta; top-scorer: Idrees al Idrisi (Wusta), best keeper: Abdullah al Harthy (Bidiya), best player: Fahad al Zaabi (Al Salam), best coach: Mohammed Sabah (Bidiya), best manager: Tariq al Jenaibi (Wusta).
U21 league: 1 Bausher, 2 Sur, 3 Seeb; top-scorer: Muntasar al Riyami (Seeb), best keeper: Amour al Shibli (Bausher), best player: Ibrahim al Sawafi (Bausher), best coach: Said al Raqadi (Bausher), best manager: Yahya al Alawi (Sur).
U19 league: 1 Seeb, 2 Salam, 3 Al Suwaiq; top-scorer: Ishaq al Habsi (Mudhaibi), best keeper: Abdullah al Ajmi (Salam), best player: Salah al Yahyai (Seeb), best coach: Khalid al Mamari (Salam), best manager: Jassim al Awadi (Suwaiq).
U16 league: 1 Seeb, 2 Ibri, 3 Saham; top-scorer: Arshad al Alawi (Arouba), best keeper: Idrees al Yahmadi (Seeb), best player: Ali al Amri (Seeb), best coach: Musab al Damari (Seeb), best manager: Salim al Yaqoobi (Ibri).
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