The award winners were already announced earlier, but Wednesday the Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) held a celebration to honor their achievements for the past year.
The highest profile awards were the footballer of the year and the best domestic player honors. The former of those awards was won by veteran defender Nikolche Noveski of German side Mainz. Noveski called it a special feeling to be recognized with the footballer of the year award, and thanked everyone who voted for him. Furthermore, he felt it was extra special to win the award at his age (34). Noveski also won the footballer of the year honor back in 2005.
Meanwhile, Dejan Blazhevski capped a great year with Horizont Turnovo to be named the best domestic player. Blazhevski will look to continue the trend of winners of that award then transferring abroad soon thereafter. The past 5 winners of that award are Besart Ibraimi, Martin Bogatinov, Ferhan Hasani, Ostoja Stjepanovikj and now Dejan Blazhevski. The previous four players all made transfers abroad soon after taking home the award. Ibraimi moved to Schalke 04 in Germany, Bogatinov moved to Ukrainian side Karpaty, Hasani went to Wolfsburg, while Stjepanovic ended up with Wisła Kraków. Blazhevski is expected to be sold by Turnovo during the winter transfer window as that is the last chance for them to receive some money for their best player.
Jovan Kostovski, who won an award for the top scorer over the past year, was not in attendance since he had club obligations with OH Leuven in Belgian. They play a game on Thursday so Kostovski was unable to attend. Despite the fact that Kostovski transferred to OH Leuven earlier in the summer, he still scored the most goals of any player over the past season to claim the award. A friend of Jovan’s accepted the award on his behalf.
Another interesting award in the best young footballer honor which went to 18-year-old Marjan Radeski of Metalurg. The Skopje based club was also recognized for its work in the youth academy by winning the award for the best club in the youth categories.
Andon Donchevski, the first manager to lead an independent Macedonian national team, received a lifetime achievement award. Donchevski, who now lives in Australia, made an appearance through Skype to accept his award.
As a reminder, the rest of the award winners were:
Best Coach – Blagoja Milevski (Vardar)
Best Coach in the Youth Categories – Aleksandar Vasoski
Best Scorer in the Domestic Youth Football – Martin Hristov (Makedonija Gjorche Petrov)
Best Female Player – Natasha Andonova (Turbine Potsdam)
Best Coach in the Female Competition – Astrit Merko
Best Goalscorer in the Female Competition – Elena Jakovska
Best Futsal Coach – Zoran Lekikj
Best Futsal Player – Dragan Petrovikj
Top Football Worker of the Year – Dragan Popovski (President of Rabotnichki)
Fair-play Team – Rabotnichki
Best referee – Dimitar Mechkarovski