The top players, managers, referees and honoured figures of the past year in football were acknowledged in Tbilisi within the annual Georgian Football Federation (GFF) Awards on Wednesday.
Votes by 10 managers and 11 players of the National League as well as 36 players of Georgia’s national team, sports reporters and veteran players were counted to reveal the winners in six principal nominations.
Lokomotiv Moscow defender Saba Kvirkvelia was named Player of the Year in the poll, while Nino Sutidze of Turkey’s Atasehir Belediyespor club was revealed as Female Player of the Year.
Giorgi Chakvetadze, 18-year-old midfielder of KAA Gent, collected the Young Player of the Year award at the ceremony.
Archil Sebiskveradze, representing Belarussian club Lidselmash Lida, received acclaim as Player of the Year for Futsal (indoors football played on hard court), while Avtandil Asatiani was named Futsal Manager of the Year.
Rounding off the main awards, Jeneri Khorava collected the Referee of the Year honour for 2017.
Award-winners of the 2017 GFF ceremony. Photo: GFF.
In addition to the major prizes, Wednesday’s ceremony also singled out best of the Georgian domestic football league and League 2.
The award-winners for the national championships were unveiled as follows:
Georgian National League awards:
- Player of the Year, Forward of the Year: Irakli Sikharulidze (Lokomotive Tbilisi)
- Goalkeeper of the Year: Roin Kvaskhvadze (Torpedo Kutaisi)
- Defender of the Year: Lasha Totadze (Dinamo Tbilisi)
- Midfielder of the Year: Giorgi Kharaishvili (Saburtalo)
- Foreign Player of the Year: Ante Gii (Samtredia)
- Goal of the Year: Grigol Dolidze (Torpedo Kutaisi)
- Manager of the Year: Kakhaber Chkhetiani (Torpedo Kutaisi)
Georgian National League 2 awards:
- Player of the Year, Goalscorer of the Year: Data Sitchinava (Rustavi)
- Manager of the Year: Varlam Kilasonia (Rustavi)
The GFF Awards ceremony did not stop with the "best of” awards, with organisers also handing out prizes honouring contributions to Georgian football.
Players, managers and sports reporters all voted for their favourites in the annual poll. Photo: GFF.
Tengiz Katsia and Avtandil Shengelia, participants of the GFF project Football in Schools, received the award for Exceptional Contribution to Mass Football.
The project involved re-training of teachers of sports activities in 1,000 public schools in Georgia’s regions with the goal of preparing them for holding free football classes for pupils of first two years of elementary schools.
Sports reporter David Klibadze was distinguished for Exceptional Contribution for Promoting Georgian Football, marking decades of his coverage of Georgian football.
Acclaimed Georgian manager and first president of the GFF Nodar Akhalkatsi was posthumously awarded for Exceptional Contribution to Georgian Football, with his son collecting the prize at the ceremony.