New Delhi, 6 July: Ace midfielder Lallianzuala Chhangte was named the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year for 2022-23 while Manisha Kalyan won her second consecutive Women’s Footballer of the Year award. The 26-year-old Chhangte beat Nandhakumar Sekar and Naorem Mahesh Singh of East Bengal to win the award.
The Mizoram player bagged the award on the back of some stellar performances for the Indian national team and Mumbai City FC, his club. The winger made 12 appearances for the national team during the 2022-23 season, scoring two goals and providing one assist.
The midfielder was also the highest scorer among Indians in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season with 10 goals and six assists in 22 appearances. He helped Mumbai make the semi-finals after topping the league stage. He was eighth in the overall ISL scoring charts for the season. Chhangte became only the second player from Mizoram, after Jeje Lalpekhlua (2016), to win the AIFF Layer of the Year award. Meanwhile, Manisha Kalyan pipped Dalima Chhibber and Ngangbam Sweety Devi to the Women’s Player of the Year 2022-23 award. It was her second Player of the Honour in two seasons.
The 21-year-old Manisha, who won the 2020-21 AIFF Women's Emerging Footballer of the Year, currently plays as a forward for Apollon, a first-division football club in Cyprus. She became only the third Indian female footballer to win the individual award two or more times after Bala Devi (three) and Bembem Devi (two). Among the other awardees, Akash Mishra and Shilji Shaji were named the AIFF Men's and Women Emerging Players of the Year respectively.
The 21-year-old Akash Mishra had an impressive season for Hyderabad FC and helped the club reach the ISL 2022-23 semi-finals. The left-back will join Mumbai City FC for the upcoming season.
Akash Mishra became only the third defender to receive this award after Sandesh Jhingan and Pritam Kotal. Shilji Shaji, meanwhile, was rewarded for playing a key role for India during the 2023 SAFF U-17 Women's Championship, where she emerged as the top scorer with eight goals in four matches. The AIFF's Men's and Women’s Coach of the Year awards went to Clifford Miranda and Priya Parathi Valappil, respectively.
Clifford Miranda guided Odisha FC to their first-ever trophy - Indian Super Cup. The former international also played a key role in the club’s AFC Cup qualification. Priya Parathi Valappil is currently the head coach of the women's U-17 team.