FAS ● Nov 18, 2019
Iman Hakim Ibrahim becomes the 10th Recipient of the Dollah Kassim Award 2019
SINGAPORE, 18 NOVEMBER 2019 – The date of 15 November 2019 was a momentous occasion as it marked the tenth edition of the acclaimed Dollah Kassim Award. Taking place at the headquarters of Jalan Besar Stadium, six nominees vied for the prestigious prize commemorating the late Dollah Kassim, one of Singapore’s finest players to put on the national jersey during the 1970s. The winner of the award receives the privilege of undergoing an overseas training stint at a reputable football academy that has over the years included the likes of English Premier League club Newcastle United, French outfits Metz International and St Etienne, J2 League side Omiya Ardija and Belgium club KRC Genk.
Iman Hakim Ibrahim, a Singapore Sports School student who plays as a midfielder, pipped five other nominees – Amir Syafiz, Arsyad Basiron, Azri Suhaili, Ethan Henry Pinto and Farhan Zulkifli to take home the award. The 17-year-old was in disbelief as his name was announced, and he struggled to contain his emotions on several occasions.
Iman told The New Paper after his win, “I’m still shaking, I really didn’t expect to win this. To be able to stand alongside my talented teammates and other young outstanding players, that itself was an honour.
“I’m very happy and thankful to have won this award, and I really owe it to my parents, coaches and teammates for always pushing me to come this far.”
Having been nominated for the award last year too, Iman knows the importance of working hard and staying grounded.
He said, “My parents have always reminded me to stay humble and keep working hard no matter what happens.
“They’ve always been very supportive of me since the start, and they don’t really expect much from me, which helps a lot… I hope I made them proud of me.”
On his win, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Lim Kia Tong told The New Paper, “I share the special joy and pride of Iman’s parents for winning the prestigious Dollah Kassim Award with his technical talent and exemplary conduct, which are essential ingredients for the award.
“I am sure that his win will inspire and motivate other young aspiring footballers to emulate him and similarly demonstrate the tenacity that has allowed him to become the role model for many.
“To further encourage young players to follow in the footsteps of Iman, FAS will constantly be on the lookout for new talent through selection trials, whilst also continuing to provide all our youth players with the utmost support needed for their development.”
FAS technical director Joseph Palatsides, who headed the selection panel, emphasised that the award is given to recognise not just the player’s footballing and technical abilities, but also to acknowledge exemplary conduct.
“(Iman’s) a worthy winner and he can look forward to a training stint in Europe. This is another way the FAS, through the award, helps in the development of our young footballers.
“He can measure himself against quality footballers in Europe and understand what is required to make the next step.”
The Dollah Kassim Award is traditionally given to commendable footballers aged 18 and below who display both outstanding technical skills and exemplary qualities that make them a role model among their peers. Each of the nominees were specially selected by a panel after the initial nomination phase by all COE U-18 and U-15 teams. Nominees are picked based on their footballing ability as well as their character, two attributes that typified the late Dollah Kassim.
Previous winners and their overseas training stints
2010: Ammirul Emmran Mazlan (Newcastle United – England)
2011: Adam Swandi (Newcastle United – England)
2012: R. Aaravin (FC Metz – France)
2013: Hazim Faiz Hassan (FC Metz – France)
2014: Muhelmy Suhaimi (FC Metz – France)
2015: Joshua Pereira (St Etienne – France)
2016: Rusyaidi Salime (Omiya Ardija – Japan)
2017: Joel Chew (Omiya Ardija – Japan)
2018: Nur Adam Abdullah (KRC Genk – Belgium)