I-League champions Bengaluru FC gave a fitting end to what has been a historic season with the BFC Awards Night in Bangalore at a private ceremony.
The awards, meant to recognise and reward some special performances within the club in its debut season, saw central defender Curtis Osano walk away Tuesday with the Players’ Player of the Year award while Sean Rooney’s effort against Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium was adjudged the Goal of the Season.
The function was attended by a host of celebrities and eminent sportspersons that included multiple Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi, Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna and badminton star Ashwini Ponnappa among others.
The 20-year-old Siam Hanghal won the poll for Fan’s Player of the Year while Prashant Kalinga was named Under-19 Player of the Year. Skipper Sunil Chhetri grabbed the honours for Highest Goal Scorer of the Season.
“When I was handed my new position on the left, I was terribly upset since I had never played there. I scored in my first start for the club against Rangdajied United but went on a long goalless streak. But there were people who backed me and never gave up on me and I would like to thank them for that,” said Chhetri who, with 14 goals, was also the joint top scorer of the league.
Osano, who received his award from BFC chairman Sajjan Jindal, was happily surprised at receiving the honour.
“It feels brilliant that my teammates think this of me. I don’t think I can say anything more than thank you,” said an emotional Osano, who with John Johnson has formed the most formidable central defending pair the league has seen this season. Johnson picked up the Goal of the Season.
Earlier, hundreds of fans packed MG Road, chanting behind the open-top bus that ferried the Bengaluru FC players along with the I-League trophy.
The unprecedented scenes continued all the way to the Bangalore Football Stadium where the team was brought out before the fans and the trophy was raised again when the team’s chief executive Parth Jindal handed it over to coach Ashley Westwood before the fans, who had thronged the stadium.
List of awards:
Players’ Player of the Season: Curtis Osano
Fan’s Player of the Season: Siam Hanghal
Best Goal of the Season: Sean Rooney (vs Mohun Bagan)
Highest Goal Scorer of the Season: Sunil Chhetri
Under-19 Player of the Season: Prashant Kalinga