FourFourTwo’s nominations for the 2015 Malaysian Football Awards

The candidates for the 2015 Malaysian Football Awards have been submitted for vote counting. FourFourTwo’s Vijhay Vick was asked to take part, and here he explains the reasons behind his nominees for the year-end gala…

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The 2015 football season draws to a close with the Malaysia Cup final between Selangor and Kedah on Saturday. Many players have had a season to remember, while some mid-season transfer signings like Matthew Davies and Issey Nakajima-Farran stamped their mark.

The winners – voted by coaches, captains and a panel of football writers before the Malaysia Cup knockout stages – will be announced at a gala ceremony expected to be held sometime next week.

Many difficult choices had to be made as there were a number of players who impressed over the course of the season. In the end those presented below – three nominations for each category – were picked on performance, team contribution and the writer’s personal preference (so yes, some bias can’t be denied).

Best Goalkeeper

The saves-per-match ratio was put aside for this because some goalkeepers are tested way more often than others.

Farizal Harun earned the first nomination for his solid form in Felda United’s Malaysia Super League (MSL) season. The 29-year-old Negri Sembilan product built on his fine Malaysia Premier League (MPL) campaign in 2014 with another good year. Felda boasted the league’s second best defence, conceding just 26 goals.

Pahang did not have a great season, wasting opportunities to win the MSL with a weak defence and lack of creativity up front. But in Khairul Azhan Khalid, the Elephants at least had a reliable man between the sticks.

Khairul Azhan played in all 22 MSL matches as Pahang conceded just 29 goals. Only Johor Darul Ta’zim (18) and Felda surpassed that total.

Khairul is always a reliable presence between the posts for club and country.

Farizal Marlias was came in as a third and final pick, simply because he was part of the best defence around. While he had the ever-solid Marcos Antonio providing cover in front of him, Farizal ensured he did his own part in the 18 games he played. Farizal was also key in JDT’s AFC Cup final heroics against Tajikistan side Istiklol.

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