Sandhu, Sanju win AIFF player of the year awards

 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. File photo: IANS

New Delhi: Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and midfielder Sanju were on Friday declared the All India Football Federation (AIFF) men's and women's Footballer of the Year respectively. Sandhu is the second goalkeeper to win the award after Subrata Paul in 2009.

Meanwhile, Anirudh Thapa and Ratanbala Devi were declared men's and women's Emerging Footballer of the Year respectively. The AIFF said that while the men's honours were chosen based on votes from the head coaches of the clubs in the Indian Super League and I-League, the women's winners were chose by women's national team head coach Maymol Rocky along with AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru.

"Huge thanks go to AIFF and everyone who has supported and helped me relentlessly to achieve this today. There was always a desire to reach this point and this is an award which I have always looked up to. Chhetri-bhai (Sunil Chhetri) has won it so many times and I have always thought when I can be worthy enough to win it," said Sandhu.

"We have garnered some fantastic performances at the club front as well as for the national team last year, but we need to push harder to raise the bar and we can surely do that," said Thapa.

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