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Santiago Varela, Clayvin Zuniga win laurels in I-League monthly awards for January

Published at :February 5, 2021 at 7:42 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : I-League)


The league also unveiled its Team of the Month for January, 2021.

The Hero I-League 2020-21 campaign kicked off last month and provided a number of memorable matches and moments, with five rounds consisting of 25 games being played. On the table, Churchill Brothers FC Goa registered the most points (11) with three wins and two draws in the I-League and at the monthly individual awards, it was their head coach and marksman that took the honours.

Honduras international Clayvin Zuniga was named the Player of the Month for January 2021, as he leads the scoring charts with five goals in as many games so far, along with a solitary assist. Apart from the goal contributions, he has also impressed with his all-round play – registering five key passes and averaging nine successful challenges per 90 minutes played.

Talking about his award, he attributed it to his entire team and stressed on how he wants to carry the momentum forward as we enter the business end of the league.

“This award is a pleasant surprise for me. I feel very, very happy on receiving it. This is for the whole team. I want to continue on the same lines and score more goals and contribute to the team’s victories,” he said.

Zuniga added, “There is no easy side in the Hero I-League and this award motivates me to keep giving more. Our objective is to win the league trophy and we want to keep working as a team to achieve it.”

The Red Machines’ head coach Santiago Varela was picked in the I-League awards as the Coach of the Month for January, courtesy of his side’s impressive displays during the period – where they remained unbeaten and picked up 11 points out of a possible 15. They also impressed with their attacking style of play.

The Spaniard, who led Gokulam Kerala FC last season, dedicated the award to his late father and highlighted the hard work put in by the team during their pre-season training.

“Thank you so much for the trophy. I am very happy to receive this honour and I want to share it with everyone at the club – the players and staff. I want to dedicate this award to my father as today (Wednesday) is eight years without him,” Varela stated.

“Right from the start in pre-season, we were doing well in Goa and put in a lot of effort. The team gave double sessions to get ready. We prepared very well in pre-season and because of that, we are in this position now.”

The first month featured some excellent displays from various players across the different teams and the Team of the Month for January featured 11 players from six outfits – with four of them being from Churchill Brothers.

Team of the Month for January 2021:

Shibinraj Kunniyil (CB); Deepak Devrani (GKFC), Mason Robertson (RKFC), Richard Kassaga (AFC), Hira Mondal (MDSP); Clencio Pinto (CB), Phalguni Singh (TRAU), MC Malsawmzuala (AFC), Bryce Miranda (CB); Clayvin Zuniga (CB), Dennis Antwi (GKFC).

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