2019/20 BISL Awards

Another BISL season is in the books and Anatolia capture their first title in history to close out Season 6. Congratulations to all the teams on a fantastic season (our most competitive one yet) and we hope everyone enjoyed their experience. We are always looking for ways to improve our league so please send any feedback to brotherhoodsoccer@gmail.com
 
This season featured many incredible individual performances, which made player award voting even more difficult. For individual awards, each GM was to submit one nominee from their respective team. After collecting all the nominees, each team's GM were eligible to cast a vote - however, they were NOT permitted to vote for players on their own team. Though there were many deserving candidates, we are happy to present this year's individual award winners. All awards have been posted to your profile page. 

Before we go into the individual awards, let's recap this year's All-BISL teams, voted on by the players. 

 
All-BISL First Team
All-BISL Second Team
G: Jibran Waqar, Andalusia FC      
G: Zahid Merchant, Anatolia FC
D: Salman Ahmad, Samarra FC
D: Farhan Butt, Hejaz FC
D: Hussam Ayubi, Hejaz FC
D: Owais Ansari, Andalusia FC
F: Nasir Rehman, Hejaz FC
F: Zain Khilji, Anatolia FC
F: Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC
F: Murtaza Tirmizi, Jerusalem FC
F: Fawad Akram, Anatolia FC
F: Muhammad Shah, Sham FC

And now, onto the awards...

Golden Boot

Winner: Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC (12 goals)

Aadhil came, he saw and he conquered. The quick-footed and creative rookie notched 12 goals in his debut season. Aadhil's ability to beat defenders one-on-one and create chances for himself (and others) made him a tough cover for any defender and a nightmare for any goalkeeper.  

Regular Season MVP

Top Three Nominees: Fawad Akram, Anatolia FC; Nasir Rehman, Hejaz FC; Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC. 
Winner: Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC (12 goals, 6 assists, 18 points) 

Aadhil Mohamed's rookie display led him to capturing the first of what we expect will be many BISL MVP titles. Despite being a one-man attack in his own right, Mohamed's ability to link up with his teammates in tune to six helpers on the season showed that he did whatever was needed for his team to put the ball in the back of the net. The last three regular season MVP awards have gone to Samarra players (Danish Khan won the two years prior).

Playoff MVP

Top Three Nominees: Fawad Akram, Mike Isoufi, Zahid Merchant
Winner:  Fawad Akram, Anatolia FC (2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points in playoffs)

Finally, Fawad Akram holds the BISL trophy. One of the best players in the League since he joined in year three, Fawad always had the numbers but not the silverware. Akram's performance was one of many that contributed to Anatolia's success in the Finals, with rookie Mike Isoufi and BISL vet Zahid Merchant doing their part to bring it home for ANatolia. However, in the end it was Fawad's ability to pull the strings in midfield and keep his side on the front-foot that made him GM Zain Khilji's pick for Playoff MVP. Fawad's series of stellar performances for the Canaries in the playoffs led to a pair of goals and four assists in three games, with two assists coming in the Finals. 

Top Defender

Top Three Nominees: Owais Ansari, Andalusia FC; Hussam Ayubi, Hejaz FC; Salman Ahmed, Samarra FC.
Winner: Salman Ahmad, Samarra FC (2 goal, +4 GD)

 
Top Defender is always a difficult award to assess because the stats collected by the League do not appropriately reflect individual defensive displays. However, Salman Ahmad's combination of speed, passing range and high IQ made him a worthy candidate of the award this year. Often tasked with shutting down the top offensive player for his opposition, Salman always stood his ground and made his opponent work. With his passing and pace, he was able to chip with a pair of goals as well from the backline. 
 
Top Goalkeeper

Top Three Nominees: ‎Jibran Waqar, Andalusia FC; Zahid Merchant, Andalusia FC; Basil Jeelany, Sham FC.
Winner: Jibran Waqar, Andalusia FC (5 wins, 2 clean sheets, 87 saves) 

Jibran rejoined the League as a goalkeeper this year and those who know him from softball knew he had the reflexes and athleticism to be a quality keeper in the League. However, nobody expected him to be the kind of dominant force he was. Waqar was a big reason as to why Andalusia flirted with the top seed all season long and was a brick wall in goal. Week in, week out, Jibs provided us highlight reel saves and we feel that this won't be the last time we see his name listed as Top Goalkeeper in the League.

Most Improved Player

Top Three Nominees: Nabeel Jabbar, Jerusalem FC; Shahbaz Tayyub, Samarra FC; Salman Ahmad, Sham FC.
Winner: Nabeel Jabbar, Jerusalem FC (2 wins, 74 saves)

After a season of ups-and-downs that saw few bright spots for Jerusalem all season, Nabeel Jabbar shone the brightest. Had Jabbar been the number one for JFC from the onset of the season, we may have been talking about him in the previous category - that's how impressive his performances were. Jabbar grew in confidence with every week in the second half of the season, and put up the sort of displays that are the epitome of 'stealing a point' from the opposition. We cannot imagine him lasting in the later rounds of the draft next year. 

Brotherhood Award

Nominees: ‎Owais Ansari, Andalusia FC; Riaz Murad, Anatolia FC;  Murtaza Tirmizi, Jerusalem FC; Umair Ashraf, Hejaz FC; Basil Jeelany, Samarra FC; Humeid Masood, Sham FC.
Winner: Murtaza Tirmizi, Jerusalem FC

Always the toughest award to choose. Year after year, we have a number of quality brothers that deserve to be mentioned in this section. However, it is tough to quib with the selection of Murtaza Tirmizi for this year's Brotherhood Award. On the pitch, Murtaza was jovial with teammates and foes alike and someone we view as the exact kind of player we want in this league - high calibre in terms of skill and character. Off the field, Murtaza was instrumental in the League's social media campaigns, especially with his matchday coverage (shoutout to other members of the social media team for their contributions as well, by the way). We are grateful for guys like Murtaza in the League, as he embodies the values of the League and appreciate all he brings to BISL.  

That brings a close to Season Six of BISL. Congratulations to all award recipients, and thank you to all the players, supporters and sponsors that made this season a memorable one. See you on the pitch next year and please take appropriate measures during this pandemic. Our prayers are with you all and we look forward to seeing you all in the future insha'Allah.