Protectors sweep top honours at S-League Awards

Home United trio (from right) Sirina Camara, Lee Lim Saeng and Lee Kwan Woo are the big winners at S-League Awards ceremony held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East on 10 November 2013.

Home United completed a cup double last Friday when the senior and prime league teams won the RHB Singapore Cup and Singapore Pools FA Cup respectively.

On Sunday, at the S-League Awards ceremony at ITE College East, the club had more reasons to celebrate.

The Protectors swept the top three honours for the evening, winning the Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards.

South Korean playmaker Lee Kwan Woo, who joined the club as a marquee signing in January, surprised few when he took home the Player of the Year trophy.

The 35-year-old former K-League star was instrumental in Home's second-placed finish this season.

He also inspired his side to a 4-1 cup final win over Tanjong Pagar last Friday, creating two goals and scoring one.

Sirina Camara won the Young Player of the Year award for his consistent performances in the heart of Home's defence.

Perhaps, slightly surprising was Home's Lee Lim Saeng winning in the Coach of the Year category.

The South Korean, who joined the club in 2010, edged out favourite Darren Stewart of Balestier, Salim Moin of Woodlands, and Tanjong Pagar's Patrick Vallee.

EMOTIONAL

"This award was not only because of my work; I have to thank my players for this as well," said an emotional and teary-eyed Lee after receiving the accolade.

"I'm so happy to see Lee and Sirina win. Everyone in the team has been improved this season.

"I hope we keep going strong next year."

Though he has won two Singapore Cups during his four-year tenure, the S-League title continues to elude him and Home United.

"I really hope we achieve (the league title) next year," he added.

"But we must stay humble, because we are not perfect."

For the first time in S-League history, the Golden Boot was shared by two players.

Woodlands striker Moon Soon Ho and Tampines veteran Aleksandar Duric both finished on 15 goals.

Duric, 43, who now has three Golden Boots to his name, said he aims to finish his career on a high by winning one more top-scorer's award next season.

"After next season, that's it for me, 100 per cent," he said.

"Even if I win another Golden Boot, I'll stop. But I must admit, it's always a great feeling to win these awards.

"It's also special that I get to share it with Moon, who also had an excellent season."

Tanjong Pagar's Hafiz Nor took home the Goal of the Year honours, thanks to a goal scored in the club's very first fixture in February.

The goal, a volley from the right which flew into the top corner, came against Balestier at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

"I came on as a substitute in that game, five minutes before the goal," Hafiz said.

"I just wanted to make an impact on the match. I didn't expect to score that goal, and I didn't expect to win this award."

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