Afonso Alves takes Dutch accolade

SC Heerenveen's Afonso Alves has been named Dutch Player of the Year, beating Phillip Cocu and Alex to claim the title after a memorable Eredivisie campaign.

SC Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves has been named Dutch Player of the Year, beating competition from Phillip Cocu and Alex to claim the title after a memorable maiden Eredivisie campaign.

Impressive return
The 26-year-old Brazilian made a huge impression in the Netherlands last year, his 34 goals in 31 league matches eclipsing more familiar names as he immediately settled after joining from Malmö FF. Blaise N'Kufo and Danny Koevermans were the next highest goalscorers with 22 apiece and Afonso Alves has been recognised for that achievement, though he is now unsettled at Heerenveen, and his award was picked up by coach Gertjan Verbeek.

Hiddink honoured
Former PSV Eindhoven duo Cocu and Alex, now plying their trade at Abu Dhabi's Al-Jazira Club and Chelsea FC respectively came second and third, though a current PSV player did receive an honour with Ibrahim Afellay given the Johan Cruyff award for Young Player of the Year. The Netherlands' UEFA European Under-21 Championship-winning side were named Team of the Year while Russia coach Guus Hiddink received the Golden Lion accolade for lifetime achievement.

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