Voting for our end of season awards has come to a close for another year so it’s time to reveal the winners.
Match of the Season
Three of the five nominated matches received votes but the winner of the award was never in doubt as the match in question took an early lead in the voting and never looked back. September 22 was one of the few days in 2012 that gave Gamba fans something to celebrate but nobody could have predicted beforehand that the team would enter Saitama Stadium and thrash a title-chasing Urawa Reds side 5-0 but that’s exactly what they did. It’s no surprise that such a memorable victory gained 77% of the votes!
2011: 5-1 vs Melbourne Victory
2010: 3-2 vs Urawa Reds
Best New Face
The new award this season was contested by seven players but four of them clearly didn’t have enough of an impact on the season and failed to win a single vote between them. There wasn’t much of a challenge against the winner but Yasuyuki Konno (23%) and Keisuke Iwashita (8%) both earned their admirers over the season. The winner of the award made the step up from J2 at the start of the season but proved himself worthy of a place in a J1 squad as he weighed in with some crucial goals early in the year and went on to hit double figures before a long-term injury curtailed his season. Despite the injury he finished the season as second top scorer behind Leandro and that is why Akihiro Sato is your Best New Face for 2012 with 69% of the vote!
Young Player of the Season
2012 was a tough season for Gamba and this perhaps deprived the younger players in the squad of the chance to get some game time under their belts. Only four youngsters were able to get on the pitch enough to qualify for this award and again the winner was fairly clear cut. Kotaro Omori (16%) and Tatsuya Uchida (8%) will be hoping to make more of an impact next year. One youngster managed to make a significant impact on 2012, making 24 appearances and weighing in with 4 goals, including a strike in your match of the season. He also scored a late winner against Kawasaki Frontale in April to round off a brilliant comeback and secure Gamba’s first league win of the season with a memorable one-touch strike. The winner is Hiroyuki Abe , of course, with 77% of the vote. Hopefully he will get more time on the pitch in J2 next season so we can see how he develops.
2011: Hiroki Fujiharu
Player of the Season
Finally, the main award. This one was contested a lot more fiercely as six of the eligible players received votes. Yasuhito Endo and Akihiro Sato (both 15%) were the biggest challengers to the winner but even with their votes combined they wouldn’t have taken the award. Honourable mentions also go out to Takahiro Futagawa, Shu Kurata and Akihiro Ienaga. The winner only spent six months of the season at the club but his impact was so huge that he easily pushed all of his challengers out of the way to claim the grand prize. With a total of 15 goals in just 21 appearances he silenced his doubters, won over fans and proved that he hadn’t lost his goalscoring instincts. The player we are talking about is, of course, none other than Leandro who takes the award with 46% of your votes.
2011: Yasuhito Endo & Keun-Ho Lee
2010: Takashi Usami
Once again, a massive thank you goes out to all of the voters. We’ll continue to bring you the pre-season gossip and news ahead of Gamba’s debut J2 season so please keep visiting!