FC Sion goalkeeper Andris Vaņins has been named as Latvia's player of the year for the second time following the annual poll conducted by the Latvian Football Federation (LFF).
Players, coaches, officials and media representatives all took part in the annual ballot, voting the 33-year-old international the country's best, a title he took for the first time in 2008 during his second spell with FK Ventspils. "I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who decided I was worth such an honour," Vaņins told UEFA.com. "Such awards are not won on one's own and I am very grateful to all those I go on the pitch with. Now I can think about a hat-trick of prizes."
The lion's share of the other awards handed out at the presentation evening went to Latvian double winners Ventspils. Jurijs Žigajevs picked up a trio of honours, being named best player in the Latvian First Division, the league's best midfielder and the scorer of goal of the season courtesy of his spectacular scissors kick against FK Spartaks Jūrmala. "I suspected that I had scored the best goal of the season," admitted Žigajevs. "But the two other awards are a very pleasing surprise."
Žigajevs' club coach Jurģis Pučinskas was named coach of the year, while the remainder of the awards went to representatives from league runners-up Skonto FC, with Paulius Grybauskas (best goalkeeper), Vladislavs Gabovs (best defender) and Valērijs Šabala (best forward) all finishing prize winners.
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