Time to pick best talents of UAE club football

Abu Dhabi - Arabian Gulf League Awards to be presented at the Emirates Palace on Thursday

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 9 May 2018, 11:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 May 2018, 1:14 AM

The votes are in and it's time to decide the best from the rest of the UAE's club football. The heroes, who have given some magical moments over the past year, will be honoured during the Arabian Gulf League Awards at the Emirates Palace on Thursday.
As seen in the past, the titans from Abu Dhabi clubs dominate the three-player shortlist. The categories are mostly dotted with names from Arabian Gulf League and the UAE President's Cup winner Al Ain and the Super Cup and Gulf Cup title holders Al Wahda.
It's the usual suspects when it comes to the prestigious Golden Ball for 'Emirati Player of the Year'. UAE playmaker and Al Ain superstar Omar Abdulrahman and Al Jazira Ali Mabkhout will again fight it out for bragging rights. And then there is certain Rayan Yaslam from Al Ain in the mix - the youngest of the three.
Omar picked the title in 2016 and Mabkhout last year. Both Al Ain and Al Jazira remain in AFC Champions League contention but the twin titles earned at Al Ain should tilt the balance in favour of Al Ain talisman 'Amoory'.
Shaming other clubs, Al Ain trio of Omar, Marcus Berg and Hussein El Shahat make the top three for the Fans' Player of the Year Award. The shortlist is based on votes from fans and it is but natural for Al Ain players to make the cut. Again no real surprises in the Leader Award for the Best Coach as Al Ain's Zoran Mamic and Al Wahda's Laurentiu Reghecampf will vie for it. Completing the shortlist is Sharjah's Emirati coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari. League title doesn't necessarily guarantee an award as was seen last year when Super Cup, Gulf Cup winning coach Cosmin Olaroiu edged out Henk ten Cate, who led Al Jazira to second League title.
The Golden Boy category has Al Wahda goalkeeper Mohammed Al Shamsi, Al Jazira midfielder Mohammed Al Attas and Al Nasr midfielder Jassim Yaqoob. All the names have made optimum use of given opportunities.
Al Ain's Swede star Marcus Berg, Al Wahda's Argentinian striker Sebastian Tagliabue and Al Wasl's Brazilian forward Fabio de Lima make it a three-way fight in Best Foreign Player category. There are more awards like Dream Team, Golden Shoe for the AGL top goal-scorer, Silver Shoe for the Arabian Gulf Reserve League top goal-scorer, Fantasy Arabian Gulf League Manager of the Year, the Club Licensing Award and the Online Content Award.

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