Today's blog invites you to my end of season award ceremony, where the club staff and players come together to celebrate the wonderful season we've had. If you were not aware from reading my Twitter updates, Grasshopper Club Zürich (GCZ) won the Domestic Double! Not only did I end a 13 year wait for the Swiss Super League title, I also secured Group Stage Champions League football for the 16/17 season. It's been a massive achievement and there's lots to celebrate:
- Best passer (based on pass completion)
- Top traveller (distance covered in 36 game league season)
- Top scorer (all comps)
- Goal of the season
- Most improved player
- Youth player of the year
- Manager's player of the year
Best passer: Marko Basic
The winner of the best passer is Marko Basic, who with 85% completed passes (league) throughout the season played a vital part in kick starting GCZ's attacking moves. Marko was used as a ball winning midfielder and I know Kim (Källström) and Harun (Alpsoy) benefited from his tenacity. Well done Marko, well deserved.
Top traveller - Yoric Ravet
3 GCZ players made it into the top 10 of distance covered: Kim Källström (9th), Marko Basic (5th) and Yoric Ravet (4th). Yoric covered an outstanding 415km during the season which is an average of 12.7km a game. His attacking penetration was the reason we were able to create space in attacking third. Bravo Yoric, rest yourself on holiday!
Top Scorer (all comps) - Munas Dabbur
With 19 league goals and 4 cup goals, Munas was a huge part of our success. Munas took 90 shots for GCZ this season, with 41 (54%) on target. His 138 minutes per goal meant that Munas was a regular match winner. There's no secret in the fact that Munas attracted attention in the January Transfer Window, but his hard work and determination meant he pressed on in the 2nd half of the season...ensuring a Domestic Double! It's with regret that this will be Munas's last season at the club but we wish him well in La Liga with Villareal. Thank you Munas.
Goal of the Season - Daniele Conti
After a 19 year career in Serie A with Roma and Cagliari Daniele Conti signed for GCZ at the age of 36 years old. He came in as Vice Captain and was a vital support to me in my 1st year of managing this club. His only goal for GCZ showed a glimpse of the supreme talent he possess and also demonstrated his love for the perfect goal.
The 7 player move started with a Nemanja Antonov throw in on the left wing. The ball was played into Deep Lying Forward Munas Dabbur who quickly released it to Shani Tarashaj who was in the traditional No.10 role. Daniele Conti and Kim Källström showed good interplay before releasing Wing Back Moritz Bauer on the right hand side. He provided a decisive ball into Yoric Ravet who showed an excellent First Touch before laying it off to Conti who hit an unstoppable shot. A great team goal all round, which typified what we wanted to do this season. Here it is:
Now 37 years old, Daniele Conti will call time on his career in June 2017 (when he will be 38). I cannot thank him enough for coming to join us this season, becoming a Double Winner in the process. I now look forward to working with him for one final year. His experience is vital. Grazie Daniele!
Most improved player - Shani Tarshaj
Only a few weeks into my job as GCZ Manager, Shani Tarashaj walked into my office and asked to leave on loan. When I asked why, he said it's because he needs game time. I told him to be patient and slowly integrated him into the 1st team as our No.10. Now 7 months later Shani has been selected by Vladimir Petković to go to France as part of the Swiss Euro 2016 Squad. We are all proud of Shani's development at the club. We are proud to produce International class players here at GCZ and look forward to seeing him progress further. Good look in France Shani.
Youth Player of the Year - Nikola Sukacev
Nikola spent half a season with the Under 18s this year and scored 12 goals in 12 starts. His form persuaded me to give Nikola a 5 minute cameo sub apperance for GCZ away against Black Stars Basel in the Swiss Cup. It took Nikola just 4 minutes to score a real poacher's effort.
In January 2016, Nikola showed enthusiasm and joined our affiliate club, Schaffhausen. Scoring 4 Challenge League goals in 8 appearances. An ankle injury in April curtailed his season, but Nikola can be very proud of his season's contribution. We look forward to even greater things. Well done.
Manager's Player of the Year - Yoric Ravet
I am delighted to announce that my Manager's PotY is Inside Forward, Yoric Ravet. Yoric established himself as one of GCZ's most valuable players. His contribution of 22 goals and 9 assists in all competitions led us to success, which included a sublime cross for Alexandre Barthe's Swiss Cup winning header. Yoric Ravet has showed great commitment by agreeing to a 4 year contract until 2020, ensuring that Yoric is here for his best football. I look forward to working with you again Yoric, merci mon ami.