Alexandru Epureanu, the FC Dinamo Moskva midfielder, has been honoured as the 2009 Moldovan player of the year at a high-profile awards ceremony.
The 23-year-old former FC Sheriff and FC Moskva player took the plaudits at the annual Football Association of Moldova (FMF) event which assembled some 1,500 members of the country's football community.
In addition to the main award for 31-times Moldovan international Epureanu, other outstanding performers of 2009 were recognised at the ceremony, which took place in December.
The spotlight was shared by such individual award winners as: Leonid Kuchuk, Sheriff (best coach); Stanislav Namaşco, Sheriff (goalkeeper); Vazha Tarkhnishvili, Sheriff (defender); Alexandru Onica, FC Dacia Chişinău (midfielder); Gheorghe Ovseannicov, FC Olimpia Bălţi (forward); Oleg Andronic, FC Zimbru Chişinău (goalscorer); and Veaceslav Banari (referee).
Sheriff were named team of the year while FC Iskra-Stali took the 2009 fair play prize.
However, it was not just the stars of the Divizia Naţională – Moldova's First Division – who were applauded for their efforts. The wide span of activities covered by the FMF was represented both with individual gongs – for talents such as Ruslan Istrati (futsal player), Alina Birca (women's footballer) and Sergiu Canter (beach football player) – and with awards celebrating the organisers behind the year's best events.
These accolades were presented to: FC Narubai Ribnita (grassroots football); Moldova's men's national team for deaf people (disabled football); CS Real-Succes Chisinau (youth football); CS Gloria Edinet (women's football); the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in Moldova (grassroots football development); and Evgheni Pavlov-Bubis (beach football development).
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