FFT's S.League 2017 May Dream XI: Faris clearly in his element

 FFT Singapore writers voted for their 11 top players for the month of May and it was no-brainer who stole their hearts after he scored four and created as many in one game...

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Goalkeeper: Yosuke Nozawa (Albirex Niigata S)

In May, Yosuke Nozawa started in all of Albirex’s game and only conceded once, keeping clean sheets in the other two games.

He played a vital role in ensuring his side remained unbeaten; especially in the game against Tampines Rovers, where he kept the Stags at bay despite his team being overran at times.

This veteran will continue to play a part in Albirex’s charge towards the S.League title.

Right-back: Shamil Sharif (Home United)

Converted into a right-back this season, the former Young Lions midfielder has been adapting well in unfamiliar territory.

Shamil has not allowed his defensive duties to dull his attacking senses and he has been a joy to watch when he goes on the overlap.

Left-back: Naofumi Tanaka (Albirex Niigata S)

Tanaka can count himself unlucky not to clinch the Young Player of the Year award last season, as M.Anumanthan took home the gong instead.

But at the rate he is going, Tanaka is definitely in with a shout for it this year. He has continued to be consistent for Albirex and even scored twice in three games in May.

Centre-back: Daniel Bennett (Tampines Rovers)

It is absolutely hard to believe this, but Bennett has been leading Tampines’ backline with aplomb.

Even in the 4-1 defeat to Albirex, the naturalised defender was hard to get past. If Shakir Hamzah had not given away a penalty and then got himself sent off, Bennett and Tampines might actually have walked away from the game with something.

Bennett also found the back of the net with a bullet header against Home United — a goal that helped ended Home’s unbeaten start to the league.

Centre-back: Takuya Akiyama (Albirex Niigata S)

A huge reason why Nozawa has been keeping clean sheet has been down to this defender.

The centre-back is superb in the air and his reading of the game is top notch at the S.League level.

Left wing: Faris Ramli* (Home United/ FFT’s player of the month)

Faris has been running rings around defenders all season, but even Brunei DPMM were caught off guard when he ran them rugged when both sides met in May.

The winger scored four goals, had a hand in another four as the Protectors walked away 9-3 winners. Faris has now scored 11 times, with another 12 assists in the bag in 18 games across all competition.

Centre midfielder: Ricardo Sendra (Geylang International)

This Argentinian missed the start of the season due to injury and was slowly eased back into action by Geylang International.

The playmaker has since repaid some of the faith shown in him, as he scored twice in his last two games for the Eagles. Geylang will be hoping he continues to do so.

Centre midfielder: Kento Nagasaki (Albirex Niigata S)

The heartbeat of Albirex’s midfield, Nagasaki maintained his high level of performance, scoring twice for the White Swans in May.

His excellent performances have not gone unnoticed, with Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad expressing interest in recruiting the Japanese under the Foreign Talent scheme.

There are also rumours from Thailand that some clubs are interested in signing him during the mid-season transfer window.

Centre midfielder: Yasir Hanapi (Tampines Rovers)

Yasir has been a standout for Tampines this season and he was at it again in May.

His tireless displays in midfield have allowed Tampines to dominate games and this was evident in the wins over Home and Hougang United.

Sadly for the S.League and the Stags, Yasir’s talent have been courted by PDRM FA and the midfielder is set to join Safuwan Baharudin in Malaysia till the end of the season.

Forward: Tsubasa Sano (Albirex Niigata S)

It will be a surprise if Sano sticks around in the S.League next season, seeing how his predecessor had a similarly successful season before returning to Japan.

Sano has already scored 15 goals in 10 games and he does not look like he will be stopping any time soon.

Forward: Stipe Plazibat (Home United)

There’s a new King at Home United and it isn’t Ken Ilso.

Plazibat has stepped to the fore since his transfer from Hougang and he is certainly doing everything he can to ensure Home can have a successful season.

The striker scored thrice in four league games in May, taking his overall tally to 23 goals in 16 games across all competitions so far.

Photos: S.League