Football's next big thing
TNP kicks off build-up for Dollah Kassim award; six in the running this year
The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award is back.
This year, six of Singapore's brightest football prospects will be vying for one of the most cherished individual awards for youngsters.
The winner will also bag the Singapore Pools Passport to Excellence, which comes with an overseas training stint at a prestigious football club.
It is why Danish Irfan Azman (Under-15), Rusyaidi Salime, Nonis Zephen Sean Anthony (both Under-16), Lionel Tan, Nasrul Taib (both Under-17) and Muhelmy Suhaimi (Under-18) are over the moon that they are on the short- list and are determined to land the award.
Previous winners Ammirul Emmran Mazlan (2010) and Adam Swandi (2011) each spent two weeks with English Premier League side Newcastle United learning and developing their trade.
R Aaravin (2012) and last year's winner Hazim Faiz spent 10 days with French club FC Metz polishing their skills.
TNP sports editor Lim Han Ming said: "There is no shortage of talented youngsters in Singapore, but we are looking for more than that.
"We want to find the best young footballer who also embody everything that made Dollah Kassim such an icon in the football fraternity, and continues to make him still one of the most talked-about figures today.
"All our former winners - Ammirul, Adam, Aaravin and Hazim - are good role models on and off the field.
"This year's nominees have caught the eye of their national youth team coaches with their skill and attitude.
"It's shaping up to be a close contest."
This year's winner, to be announced on Dec 13, will be selected by a panel of judges from the Football Association of Singapore and TNP.
But TNP readers can get involved by voting who they think should win the award, and subsequently carry on Dollah's legacy.
If the pick goes on to win, the lucky fan stands a chance to win attractive prizes.
Profiles of the eight candidates will appear in TNP over the coming week. Voting begins next week.
The TNP Dollah Kassim Award was initiated by The New Paper in partnership with Singapore Pools and the FAS in 2010.
It recognises both footballing excellence and character, both of which the late Dollah had in abundance. Dollah, a Malaysia Cup legend, died at the age of 61 in 2010.
* The Dollah Kassim Award winner will receive the Singapore Pools' Passport to Excellence prize, which funds the cost of sending the recipient for an overseas training stint. Singapore Pools launched the incentive in 2010 to nurture young sports talent, in line with its commitment as a leading partner in the sports community.