AFC Futsal Player of the Year: Suphawut Thueanklang (26/11/2013)

Kuala Lumpur: An MVP-winning display at the 2013 AFC Futsal Club Championship for title winners Chonburi Bluewave and a standout out display in the 2014 AFC Futsal Championship qualifiers has earned Suphawut Thueanklang the AFC Futsal Player of the Year award.

Suphawut scooped the prestigious individual accolade ahead of Iranian Hossein Tayebi, who plays for AFC Futsal Club Championship beaten finalists Sanaye Giti Pasand, and Kaoru Morioka, Nagoya Oceans’ Japan international who emerged the tournament’s top scorer.

Suphawut, who was on the final shortlist for the 2012 AFC Futsal Player of the Year award, played a pivotal role as Chonburi became the first Thai side to win the AFC Futsal Club Championship, netting the equaliser in the last minute of regulation time before going on to score a penalty in the 4-1 shootout victory.

Suphawut’s crucial leveller was his fourth of the AFC Futsal Club Championship finals having also scored eight times in five qualifiers, with Chonburi’s 7-5 win over Tainan City in the opening match representing the only game in which he failed to get on the scoresheet.

A little over a month after Chonburi’s triumph Suphawut was playing a starring role for the national team in the 2013 AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Championship, which doubles as the ASEAN Zone qualifiers for next year’s continental finals in Vietnam.

After scoring six against the Philippines, one against Brunei and four against Indonesia the talented 24-year-old then scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over Australia in the final as Thailand went on to claim top regional honours for the ninth time in ten editions of the AFF Futsal Championship.

“I am very pleased and honoured to win this award. Winning this title indicates that Thai futsal is heading to the right direction,” said Suphawut after collecting the 2013 AFC Futsal Player of the Year award from Dr. Tran Quoc Tuan, AFC Executive Committee Member and Deputy Chairman of the AFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee.

“This win will definitely help me to perform better in the futre. We have another busy year with the national team next year and we are already working towards winning the AFC Futsal Championship.

“Futsal is a team game so it’s always your team behind your success. This award would have been impossible without the support of my teammates.”