Southeast Asia

SEA Awards – Young Player Of The Year

Welcome to the first of the Football Tribe South-East Asia Awards. Today, we will be looking at the best young player from the Thai League, Malaysian Super League and the V.League. These victories were judged through the player’s individual accomplishments and personal growth, with fans of the various leagues also being consulted through opinion polls and discussions. Click below to find our Football Tribe Award Winners:


Presented by Obb Deewajin

Supachai Jaided - Striker/Attacking Midfielder - Aged 19 - Buriram United

"The Thai Thomas Müller" has had an outstanding breakout season. While the output of a mere 2 goals and 2 assists isn't the kind of number you'd associate with one of the nation's biggest rising stars, you'd only have to watch him play to see the influence he had on the league champions' side. Supachai's season started off slowly, mostly as a substitute, before he slowly earnt more game time and ended up missing only three matches all season. He might not be the strongest or fastest. He can't dribble past 2-3 players at once or shoot with power. But what Supachai have is a genius sense of movement. His linkup play is second to none and we can often see him finding time and space where others don't. Being a versatile attacker who's comfortable in the midfield or upfront has also allowed Supachai to fit in various formations, glueing a team full of superstars together into a tactical system, all at the age of 19.


Honorable Mentions

2 - Sasalak Haiprakhon: His pace and trickery were a constant outlet all season as he won the league with Buriram United.

3 - Aung Thu: 11 goals and 8 assists is a excelllent return for your first season abroad, and he is deserving of his place here even though his form dropped quite a bit in the 2 leg.

4 - Worachit Kanitsribampen: He ended the season as joint local top scorer with 12 goals. Also made 5 assists and played in all of Chonburi's league games this season

5 - Supachok Sarachat: Gifted with great vision and an eye for goal, 5 goals and 7 assists in all competitions proved to be a good return as he won his third Thai league title and earned his first senior cap.


Presented by Tran Tien

Nguyen Tien Linh - Striker - Aged 20 - Becamex Binh Duong

Tien Linh has proven his talent with 15 goals in V.League 2018 despite playing only 19 games. He can score with both of his feet and with his head. He has been selected for the senior National Team squad as they prepare for AFF Cup. He was voted by 59% of Football Tribe Vietnam readers as the Young Player Of The Year.


Honorable Mentions

2 - Tran Minh Vuong: He scored 8 goals in V.League 2018, including a beautiful freekick against South Korea in Asian Games

3 - Nguyen Cong Phuong: He finished as Hoang Anh Gia Lai's top scorer, netting  12 goals in the league this season

4 - Luc Xuan Hung: Despite missing the first part of the season due to injury, Xuan Hung became a key player after his return. His contribution was crucial in helping FLC Thanh Hoa finish as runner up.

5 - Tran Dinh Trong: Despite his young age, Dinh Trong has been touted as the best defender in the country. He has been played for U23 team, Olympic team and senior national team since the start of 2018.


Presented by Aiman Nazirmuddin

Akhyar Rashid - Left Winger - Aged 19 - Kedah FA

Akhyar Rashid's rise has been one of the highlights of this Malaysia Super League season. He first played and joined the Kedah youth academy when he was just 15 years old, eventually making his debut for the club on 4 March 2017. He scored his first senior goals on the 27 July 2017 in a Malaysia Cup match against Melaka United, which his side won 6–2.On 11 February 2018, Akhyar has scored his first goals on his 7th appearance for Kedah FA in the Malaysia Super League match against PKNP in a 0–1 win at Penang State Stadium. His performances this season even earned him a call up to the Malaysia squad for the 2018 Asian Games.

Honorable Mentions

2 - Nik Akif: Nik is a talented young player, who broke though after financial issues led many senior players to leave Kelantan. Despite the lack of guidance, he has grown incredibly and established himself as the squad's key player. Maybe next year, award for young player of the year will be in his pocket.

3 - R. Dinesh: The emergence of Dinesh proved to be a stroke of luck for the nation's youth scene. Malaysia Under 23 coach Ong Kim Swee acknowledged that presence of Dinesh was profitable not only for the young squad, but a good sign of long-term growth. With 10 appearances under his belt this season, he will be looking to have a breakout campaign with Pahang next year.

4 - Adam Nor Azlin: Despite his vast talent, Adam has struggled to break into JDT's squad due to the high number of experienced players. However, he is starting to make a name for himself and show that he is deserving of more game time.

5 - Nor Azam Azih: The 23-year-old midfielder played an important role in raising the Pahang troop attacking talent with 16 appearances this season. His contribution was crucial in helping the side win the FA Cup this season.