APOEL FC ended the 2008/09 season with a record 20th Cypriot title while APOP/Kinyras Peyias FC caused a major stir by winning the cup, but the season ended in misery for Larnaca, with the relegation of AEK Larnaca FC and Alki FC leaving the famous city without top-flight representation.
Champions: APOEL FC
Ivan Jovanović's APOEL were somewhat overlooked by many pundits on the island especially after Anorthosis Famagusta FC's extraordinary run in the UEFA Champions League and AC Omonia's massive signing spree in the summer. However, with just one defeat all season, they were declared undisputed champions of Cyprus with three games to spare in the end-of-season league play-offs, taking the title of the island's most titled club from Omonia at the same time.
Cup final: APOP/Kinyras Peyia FC 2-0 AEL Limassol FC
As was the case in the previous rounds, Georgios Polyviou's APOP were the underdogs going into the final against AEL on 16 May. After overcoming APOEL and Omonia in previous rounds, the Paphos side withstood some intense AEL pressure before scoring two late goals through Angelos Efthymiou and Fangio Buyse to seal a remarkable triumph in Nicosia's GSP Stadium.
APOEL FC - UEFA Champions League, second qualifying round
AC Omonia - UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round
APOP/Kinyras Peyia FC - UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round
Anorthosis Famagusta FC - UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round
Player of the Year: Serjão (Doxa Katokopia FC)
Doxa coach Pambos Christodoulou has the smallest budget of all the first division clubs but consistently manages to bring in players he can sell on for a profit. David da Costa finished top scorer for Doxa last season and this season that honour went to another Brazilian striker, Serjão. The front-man can head the ball well and shoot with both feet and his 24 goals took him to the top of the scorer's charts. He is sure to be hot property when the summer transfer window opens.
One to watch: Christos Karipidis (AC Omonia)
The Greek central defender is expected to fill a huge void in what was a fragile Omonia defense last season. The 26-year-old former Kerkyra FC and PAOK FC man made his name playing for Heart of Midlothian FC in Scotland, where he was made vice captain, but towards the end of the season decided to move home to be closer to his relatives in Greece and found that Nicosia was his best option, agreeing a three-year contract. Karipidis' impressive performances have also caught the eye of Greece coach Otto Rehhagel.
Surprise package: APOP/Kinyras Peyias FC
Few gave APOP any chance of clinching silverware this season, with the modest club's run to a 2-0 Cypriot Cup final success against AEL all the more remarkable as it included wins against favourites APOEL and Omonia. Founded in 2003 with the merger of two village sides - APOP Peyias and Kinyras Empas, Georgios Polyviou's men became the first club from Paphos to win a major trophy since the foundation of the Cyprus Football Association in 1934.
Leading scorer: Serjão, Doxa (24)
The number of appearances made by skipper Kostas Kaiafas – the son of fellow Omonia legend, eight-time Cypriot top scorer and 1975/76 Golden Shoe winner Sotiris Kaiafas – in 18 seasons at Omonia before his retirement at 34.
"The fact that both Omonia and Anorthosis secured enough points to have won the title in other years shows just what a tremendous success this league triumph was for us."
Ivan Jovanović, APOEL coach
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