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CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Levi Garcia of Trinidad and Tobago reacts during the international friendly match between Trinidad and Tobago and Tajikistan at 700th Anniversary Stadium on September 22, 2022 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo by Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/Getty Images)
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ONE of the most anticipated events on local football's illustrious calendar arrived once again as national players, coaches and fans were given to opportunity to celebrate the most outstanding local footballers throughout the year 2022.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) announced their annual Player of the Year awards via their website on Tuesday where players who represented T&T at the international level were commemorated for their exceptional performances.

According to the TTFA, the final placings were determined by a combination of online voting for the media and the fans and selections made by National Team head coaches and members of the TTFA Technical Department.

They highlighted the top three players in the following categories: Best Senior Men’s Player, Best Senior Women’s Player, Best Youth Men’s Player, Best Youth Women’s Player, Best Futsal Player, Best Men’s Beach Soccer Player and Best Women’s Beach Soccer Player.

Subsequently, the TTFA stated, “We take this opportunity to applaud all those who made into the top three placings and offer a special acknowledgement and congratulations to the winners who all excelled for their respective teams during competitions in 2022.”

In-form AEK Athens and national mercurial attacker, Levi Garcia, was awarded the Men’s Player of the Year award for his thrilling performances for the Senior National Team as well as his club performances in Greece.

He netted four goals for T&T and an impressive 12 goals for AEK Athens in 2022.

He was tailed by Ryan Telfer in second place and third place was occupied by last year’s winner, Aubrey David.

Asha James won the Women’s Player of the Year title – four days after celebrating a transfer to Portuguese top-division club, Valadares Gaia Football Club. For her current club, Texas A&M, she received the Player of the Week award on two occasions. She also was a standout player for the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Women’s National Team at the Concacaf Women’s Championship last year.

She was followed by Liana Hinds in second and by new club-mate, Chelsi Jadoo, in third.

Former Naparima College and Secondary School Football League (SSFL) star Molik Khan was named the Best Youth Men’s Player of the Year thanks to his performances for the T&T youth teams as well as for the Senior Team during the Concacaf Nations League campaign. Second place was awarded to Nathaniel James and Real Gill occupied the third-place spot.

On the women’s side of the youth awards, Maria-Francis Serrant received the Youth Women’s Player of the Year award, edging out both Sarah De Gannes and Marley Walker.

Che Benny won the Best Futsal Player of the Year ahead of Elijah Shade and Kalev Kiel. Benny was T&T’s star player at the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) Under-23 Championship held in Guadeloupe in 2022. His outstanding performances, including five goals in the third-place playoff, led T&T to bronze at the tournament and was named the competition’s Most Valuable Player.

Jessie Bailey took home the Men’s Beach Soccer Player of the Year, being voted above former Presentation College starlet Jordan Riley and Dominic McDougall.

The final award was handed to La Horquetta Rangers’ budding talent Alexcia Ali, the Women’s Beach Soccer Player of the Year. Second place was given to Tenesha Palmer and Tsai Ann Fernandez was voted as the third-best player.