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Virgil Van Dijk named FSA Men’s Player of the Year

Liverpool centre-half Virgil Van Dijk has been crowned the Men’s Player of the Year at the 2019 FSA Awards in association with BeGambleAware.

Elsewhere Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema won Women’s Player of the Year, while Sky Sport’s Jamie Carragher took home the Pundit of the Year prize.

Van Dijk was named Men’s Player of the Year at the Football Supporters’ Association Awards in partnership with BeGambleAware , which took place in London on Monday night.

With more than 340,000 votes cast, the FSA Awards are the largest supporter-led awards in the UK and Van Dijk topped the fans’ vote, holding off competition from runner-up Raheem Sterling. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mané, Heung-Min Son, and Jamie Vardy completed the shortlist. Van Dijk is the fourth Liverpool player to scoop the award in seven years.

Previous winners of the FSA Men’s Player of the Year are Mo Salah, Harry Kane, Philippe Coutinho, Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Agüero and Luis Suarez.

Arsenal’s Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema won the FSA Women’s Player of the Year award, the third Arsenal player to do so since the award’s creation, and succeeding her team-mate Beth Mead.

In total, 18 awards were handed out – with 11 of those decided upon by the public. The remaining seven awards (The Fans for Diversity Award, Away Day of the Year, Supporter Liaison Officer of the Year, Fanzine of the Year Award, Club Podcast of the Year, the National Game Community Award, and Supporter Engagement Award) were decided by a panel of FSA judges.

Van Dijk said: “I want to thank everyone around the country for voting for me as the Player of the Year. I’m very grateful to get this trophy, it means a lot to me.

“Hopefully I can keep doing what I’m doing, keep getting better and keep helping the team and help the club as well.”

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, said: “There’s no doubt Van Dijk has had an incredible year, his presence at the back has transformed Liverpool’s defence and made them very difficult to beat – contributing to a memorable run to becoming European champions.

“Van Dijk is admired across the game for his character and professionalism, making him a clear favourite among supporters who participated in this year’s voting.”

BeGambleAware chief executive Mark Etches said: “We share the belief that the views of football fans are of the utmost importance, and these
awards are a celebration of the best of English football – both on and off the pitch.

“We offer our congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted nominees in this year’s awards, who have enthralled and entertained supporters across the country over the last 12 months.”

Football Supporters’ Association Awards in association with BeGambleAware – Men’s Player of the Year:
Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)

Football Supporters’ Association Awards in association with BeGambleAware – Women’s Player of the Year:
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)

The Fans for Diversity Award:
Goaldiggers FC

Supporter Liaison Officer of the Year:
Dave Messenger (Watford)

Fan Media of the Year:
The Anfield Wrap

The BeGambleAware ‘Safe Hands’ Award:
Kasper Schmeichel

Away Day of the Year:
Doncaster Rovers

Newspaper of the Year:
The Guardian

Fanzine of the Year:
United We Stand (Manchester United)

Online Media of the Year:
The Athletic

Club Podcast of the Year:
Fulhamish

Writer of the Year:
Rory Smith

National Game Community Award:
Dulwich Hamlet

Podcast of the Year:
That Peter Crouch Podcast

Commentator of the Year:
Peter Drury

Pundit of the Year:
Jamie Carragher

Supporter Engagement Award:
Reading & the Supporters’ Trust at Reading (STAR)

Radio Show of the Year:
BBC Five Live’s 606

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