Bengaluru’s Wangjam wins Emerging Player of the Month award for December, sees off challenge from Colaco and Lalengmawia

Bengaluru’s FC Suresh Wangjam has been declared Emerging Player of the Month for December in the ongoing Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21. He beat Liston Colaco of Hyderabad FC (2nd), Lalengmawia of NorthEast United FC (3rd) and nine others – Mohammed Yasir (Hyderabad FC), Hitesh Sharma (Hyderabad FC), Rahul KP (Kerala Blasters FC), Akash Mishra (Hyderabad FC), Chinglensana Singh (Hyderabad FC), Jeakson Singh (Kerala Blasters FC), Rahim Ali (Chennaiyin FC), Aniket Jadhav (Jamshedpur FC) and Mohammad Mobashir (Jamshedpur FC) -- to the trophy.

20-year-old Wangjam and 22-year-old Colaco received 4 first picks each from a panel of 11 members of the broadcast team. All the members were asked to pick their first, second and third choices from a total of 12 nominees. Since Wangjam and Colaco were tied based on their first picks, second picks came into play and with five of them on his side Wangjam took the award on countback.

Liston, meanwhile, received 3 third picks and no second picks. Lalengmawia and Akash were the other two players to receive a first pick. Lalengmawia got 2 first picks, one second pick and 2 third picks, while Akash got one first pick, one second pick and no third pick. Hyderabad FC won maximum nominations with as many as five players representing them, while Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC had two representation each.

The league will hand out the Emerging Player of the Month award for January and February as well. Meanwhile, the Emerging Player of the League award will be handed out in March. It may be noted that these awards are strictly for Indian players, and they are a means to encourage and acknowledge their contribution towards their respective Hero ISL teams.

In terms of the selection criteria, the age of the player should ideally be 24 years and below, however, in exceptional cases the age limit can go up. The player’s performance in the Hero ISL transcends everything else. In other words, his performance and impact in the league is to outweigh his previous accomplishments as a budding footballer.

The Emerging Player of the Month will receive a prize of Rs 1,50,000 along with a trophy, while the Emerging Player of the League will take home a prize of Rs 4,00,000 as well as a trophy.  

In previous seasons, Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters FC in 2014), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC in 2015), Jerry Lalrinzuala (Chennaiyin FC in 2016), Lalruatthara (Kerala Blasters FC in 2017-18), Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters FC in 2018-19) and Sumit Rathi (ATK FC in 2019-2020) have won the Emerging Player of the League Award.

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