FP's WBPL Season Awards

What a season it has been! Merkaz Tulkarem made an improbable comeback to secure safety over Hilal Areeha and Asker. Abugharqud and Alyan are battling to become the league's Hadaf and hope their goals will be enough to hand their team the title. Balata came out of nowhere to finish in the league's top third, Al-Dhahrieh also made resurgent return after a miserable season last year. While Tarji Wadi Al-Nes have failed to meet the high preseason expectations after winning the Shield and Supercup. Last year's defending champions, Jabal Al-Mokaber, have been similarly disappointing- only securing Premiership survival on the penultimate day of the season. One wonders if they'll recover to put in a good showing at the AFC President's Cup next week.

For those of you who haven't been following the league, we've handed out awards for the best player, best young player, and have also selected a WBPL best XI:

Best Young Player (U-23):
Nominees: Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb (Midfielder/Balata) Eyad Abugharqud (Striker/Al-Am'ary) Yahya Sobakhi (Striker/Dhahrieh) Hesham Salhe (Midfielder/Hilal Al-Quds)
Nadim Barghouthi (Centreback/Al-Am'ary)

Winner: Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb

Abuhabeeb wins this award based on the fact that he is the reason why Balata will finish in the top third of the league. He scores goals, takes set pieces, sets teammates up, springs offsides traps, he does it all. Last season, Balata won the First Division thanks to his efforts and this year he has done them one better. The 21-year old Gazan was close to joining Shabab Al-Khaleel last year but the deal fell apart if he continues this form he won't be playing in Palestine much longer. He has 11 league goals to his name (21 in all competitions) and has also powered Balata to the semifinals of the FA Cup. Oh yeah, he also scored this goal to advance Palestine past Thailand in Olympic Qualifying.

Player of the Year:

Nominees: Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb (Midfielder/Balata) Eyad Abugharqud (Striker/Al-Am'ary), Murad Alyan (Striker, Hilal Al-Quds), Abduallah Saidawi (Goalkeeper, Hilal Al-Quds), Atif Abu Bilal (Winger/Striker, Dhahrieh)

Winner: Murad Alyan

If Hilal Al-Quds do recover to win the league it will be down to this man's amazing goalscoring form. 31 goals in all competitions, 18 in the WBPL, 11 in the FA Cup, and 2 in the Yasser Arafat Cup. What make his numbers even more impressive is the fact that the Jerusalem side does not have anyone else shouldering the load up top. In fact, Alyan has scored half of Hilal Al-Quds's league goals. His performances in a Palestine shirt have proven that 'Dado' is a player capable of playing at the highest level.

WBPL Team of the Year:

GK: Abdullah Saidawi (Hilal Al-Quds)
CB: Mohammed Al-Masri (Dhahrieh)
CB: Khaled Mahdi (Al-Am'ary)
CB: Haitham Dheeb (Hilal Al-Quds)
RM: Fadi Salím (Merkaz Tulkarem)
CM: Murad Ismail (Hilal Al-Quds)
CM: Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb (Balata)
LM: Ashraf Nu'man (Wadi Al-Nes)
ST: Atef Abu Bilal (Dharieh)
ST: Eyad Abugharqud (Al-Am'ary)
ST: Murad Alyan (Hilal Al-Quds)

Abdullah Saidawi was an easy pick at goalkeeper he has more clean sheets (12) and has only allowed a meager 13 goals in 21 games. The backline is made up of centrebacks that marshall the three best defenses in the league. Fadi Salím is included at the expense of Jabal Al-Mukaber's Ismail Amour partly due to his role in keeping Merkaz Tulkarem in the Premier League. In the season's final eitght weeks he was selected to Kooora's Team of the Week six times. Over that time period, Merkaz won 15 (4W 3D 1L) out of a possible 24 points to stay up The paltry six points (1 W 3D 10L) that Merkaz secured in the first 14 weeks were won on the back of goals scored by Salím. The lack of a holding midfielder in the lineup shows how badly Palestine need help at that position. Houssam Wadi, who plays that position with the national team was dispatched as a centreback for Jabal Al-Mokaber this season. No player had a more direct result on his team's fortunes than Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb. Without him, Balata would still be in the First Division. Ashraf Nu'man has been one of the few bright spots in Wadi Al-Nes's season his performances have attracted interest from Al-Ramtha and Al-Faisaly of the Jordanian Premier League. Atef Abu Bilal makes up one half of the best scoring duo in the WBPL, and after a slow start he has 11 goals in the last 12 matchdays. Eyad Abugharqud has scored 19 league goals and looks set to win the WBPL scoring title. Murad Alyan is right behind him at 18 goals but has a whopping 31 (compared to Abugharqud's 23) in all competitions.