Duric, 43, to hang up boots next year

Duric, 43, to hang up boots next year

Top scorer, best footballer... Aleksandar Duric has been named both repeatedly and, finally, at the age of 43, he is ready to call it a day at the end of next season.

The Tampines Rovers striker, whose 15 goals powered his club to the S-League title this campaign, is one of the nominees for this year's Yeo's Player of the Year award.

He will also pick up the RHB Top Scorer prize, which he will share with Woodlands Wellington's Moon Soon Ho.

Duric was also the top scorer in 2007 (37 goals), 2008 (28) and 2009 (28).

The S-League award ceremony will be held on Sunday at ITE College East.

"I'm retiring at the end of 2014," the Bosnia-born, former Singapore international told The Straits Times. "It's definite, 100 per cent. The time has come for me to focus on my family."

Home United playmaker Lee Kwan Woo, dynamic Geylang International midfielder Jozef Kaplan, clinical Tanjong Pagar United striker Monsef Zerka and Balestier Khalsa's commanding centre-back Paul Cunningham are the other nominees for the Player of the Year accolade.

Duric won the top individual honour in 2007, 2008 and last year and was also nominated in 2003, 2006 and 2010.

He is the only footballer to win this award more than once.

He said: "I am happy to be nominated and rub shoulders with all the other excellent nominees.

"But I wish more players from Tampines were nominated for Player of the Year, guys like Khairul Amri, Fahrudin Mustafic and Jamil Ali were outstanding. After all, we are the champions."

Straits Times journalist Fabius Chen's feature on dedicated groundsman Lambri Moondari's efforts to keep Hougang Stadium's pitch in top condition for the past 27 years has been nominated for the Story of the Year accolade.

meng@sph.com.sg

For the full list of nominees, go to http://bit.ly/1flpPRS


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