Shillong, Mar 20: Chennai City, the new I-League champions, took home the bulk of the other awards dished out at a ceremony in Chennai today.
Shillong Lajong, meanwhile, were bestowed with the Fair Play award, which will be scant consolation for the club that finished dead last in the 2018-19 season.
Oddly enough there wasn’t a Best Emerging Player award this season. Lajong’s Samuel Lalmuanpuia won it last year and the club’s Phrangki Buam, Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi or a few others would have made strong contenders if there had been such an award this year.
Chennai City were also presented with the I-League trophy at the ceremony, which was conducted even though we technically still have a match to play – that aborted fixture between Real Kashmir and Minerva Punjab.
“We have put Tamil Nadu football on the map with this win and I’m very happy that the state is getting the recognition. Also, I’m delighted that more and more local players have come through and won the I-League medal,” Chennai City co-owner Rohith Ramesh said.
The champions also had plenty of individual awards to take home with them: Best Defender (Roberto Eslava), Best Midfielder (Nestor Jesus Gordillo), Best Forward (Pedro Manzi), Best Coach (Akbar Nawas) and Player of the Tournament (Pedro Manzi).
Manzi was also joint top scorer with Willis Plaza of Churchill Brothers. Both players had scored 21 goals.
The Best Goalkeeper award went to Real Kashmir’s Bilal Khan. Real Kashmir conceded the fewest number of goals (just 14) this past season.
Runners-up East Bengal, meanwhile, were judged Best Home Match Organisers.
(Photo: All India Football Federation)