TNP wins double, again, at S.League Awards Night
For the second year running, The New Paper enjoyed a clean sweep at the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League Awards Night.
TNP snagged both media awards at last night's end-of-season gala at the Marina Bay Sands, winning the Story of the Year and Picture of the Year gongs.
TNP reporter Sazali Abdul Aziz's feature, Last Man Standing, on the evergreen goalkeeper Yazid Yasin, was picked as this year's best story.
The story was about how Yazid, 35, was at the time, the only player to feature in every season of the S.League since its inception in 1996.
TNP photo-journalist Gavin Foo won the picture award for his photo Keeper's Jeepers.
This comes after last year's double triumph, where reporter David Lee (Beating cancer is his biggest win) and photojournalist Jeremy Long (Head over heels) scooped the story and picture awards, respectively.
While Indra Sahdan - the only other player from the S.League's pioneer generation who featured this year - came out of retirement to sign for Tampines Rovers on Feb 9, a month after the story on Yazid was published, Sazali's piece touched hearts with the depiction of how the 1.69-m tall player, one of the smallest custodians in the S.League, has stood the test of time, thanks to his determination and love for the sport.
"It's an honour to receive this award a second time, and I want to thank all the players, coaches, kitmen, chairmen and everyone else in the S.League who have helped me over the years," said Sazali, who first won the award as a 20-year-old in 2007 for a story on a 16-year-old Hariss Harun's stint at Barcelona's famed La Masia academy.
Sazali added: "I also want to thank my wife. I got married six months ago, so I'd like to think she brought me some luck at the S.League Awards Night this year."
- SHAMIR OSMAN