Jamie Ackinclose and Nazim Belguendouz have been named winners as part of the 2017 Canada Soccer Player Awards, with Ackinclose named the Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year and Belguendouz named the Canadian Futsal Player of the Year. The two Canada Soccer national team players excelled in their respective sports in 2017.
Jamie Ackinclose won Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year honours after another standout season which was highlighted at the IFCPF World Championships. He was versatile at different positions, notably scoring four goals and three assists and earning Player of the Match honours three times in seven international matches. Throughout the IFCPF World Championships, Ackinclose was the veteran leader on a young Canadian squad that finished 13th overall.
“Jamie was instrumental at both ends of the field and his experience and leadership on and off the field played a huge role at the IFCPF World Championships,” said Drew Ferguson, Head Coach of Canada Soccer’s National Para Soccer Team. “We have a solid young team, but when we needed a player to put his foot on the ball and slow things down or make that one great pass, Jamie was that player for the Canadian team.”
Nazim Belguendouz of FC Sparte in Montréal is the first Canadian Futsal Player of the Year. In 2016-17, he helped his club finish second in the Québec league (PLFQ) standings by a single point while leading his division with 12 goals, seven of which were scored in the 2017 calendar year. Already in the early part of 2017-18, he has found himself at the top of his division’s goalscoring race with eight goals in the first three games of the new season.
“Nazim has been the most consistent player over the past few years and he has been on the top of his game in 2017,” said Kyt Selaidopoulos, Head Coach of Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Futsal Team. “He stands out as a number of different players could have won this award and that speaks very well to the future of futsal in Canada.”
This marks the 25th edition of the Canada Soccer Player Awards. In the coming, the two Canadian U-17 Players of the Year will be announced on Monday 11 December, the Canadian U-20 Players of the Year will be announced on Tuesday 12 December, and the Canadian Players of the Year will be announced on Thursday and Friday 14-15 December.
On Thursday 7 December, Stephanie Labbé won the second edition of the Allstate Canadian National Team Good Hands Award.