There are three categories on which to vote - Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season and Signing of the Season - and the nominations are below.
Player of the Season
After finally making his Italy debut in November, it is no surprise that Angelo Ogbonna is one of the nominations for Torino Player of the Season. Arguably the most consistent player in the team, you would probably be able to count the number of costly mistakes he has made this season on one hand. His outstanding performance in September’s victory away at Sampdoria cemented Toro’s position as promotion contenders, and despite playing over 3700 minutes this season, he has only received three yellow cards.
It is difficult to pick just one of Torino’s regular central midfielders to be nominated for this award, but it is the Swiss-Albanian Migjen Basha who gets the nod. A hardworking but talented player, Migjen has impressed in his debut season and became a big fan favourite – as illustrated by the Undici Basha (Eleven Basha’s) banner that has been seen at many games this season.
Despite scoring six goals last season after arriving in January, there were still question marks regarding whether Mirco Antenucci was worthy of the Toro shirt. However, those critics have been proved wrong, as ten goals and numerous assists - from a player who began the season on the wing have proved vital. His magnificent goal in April against Padova showed what he is capable of, and he will be looking to demonstrate that in Serie A next season.
After spending last season on loan at Toronto FC in the MLS, it looked as though Alen Stevanovic’s days at Toro were numbered. However since returning in the summer, the Serbian winger has flourished in Giampiero Ventura’s 4-2-4 formation, so much so that he was briefly linked with an unlikely transfer to Manchester United.
Many may disagree with this final nomination, but I have decided to nominate Rolando Bianchi - perhaps not for his performance this season, but for his displays in the previous two campaigns. His tally of eight goals this season is disappointing by his high standards, but he did score important winning goals against Ascoli, Vicenza, Sampdoria and Juve Stabia. Bianchi’s contributions in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons should also not be forgotten by Toro fans, as without his 43 goals in those campaigns, I dread to think where Torino would have finished.
Young Player of the Season (23 or under)
When Nnamdi Oduamadi arrived on loan from AC Milan in the summer, not much was expected from the Nigerian winger - with many believing fellow signing Simone Verdi to be the better prospect. However, ‘Odu’ has looked good whenever he has been called upon, with his pace troubling many a full back - and his tally of three goals in just eleven appearances is very impressive.
After signing in January 2010, it has taken a while for Danilo to fulfil his obvious potential – however this season has undoubtedly been his best in a Torino shirt. Despite not being first choice, he has done well when called upon at full back, and scored a vital winning goal at Reggina in November.
Matteo Darmian has been one of Torino’s most consistent performers this season and is a throwback to the full backs of yesteryear, whose ability to defend outweighs their ability to attack. The former Milan defender also chipped in with one goal against Empoli, and also impressed towards the end of the season when forced to play at centre back.
The only player to be nominated in two categories, it is difficult to believe that Alen Stevanovic is only 21 years of age. Whilst a big money move away from the club looks unlikely on the basis of just one full season, his magnificent goal against Modena showed what he is capable of.
Perhaps the surprise inclusion in this category, Romanian midfielder Suciu only made four appearances for Toro in a season curtailed by injury, but his contribution in one of those matches justifies his nomination. Because it was Suciu who (against the run of play) scored the equaliser against Sampdoria in September and provided the platform for Toro to win that match and announce themselves has serious promotion challengers.
Signing of the Season
Many eyebrows were raised when Giuseppe Vives moved to Torino in the summer despite being Lecce’s captain and a regular in Serie A. Those eyebrows were raised even higher (almost to Carlo Ancelotti proportions) when he struggled to nail down a place in the Toro starting eleven. However in the second half of the season, Vives’ quality came to the fore, and a number of excellent performances and crucial assists were a vital factor in Torino gaining promotion.
Manuel Iori began the season in fine form after signing on loan from Chievo, and his assist to Mirco Antenucci away to Nocerina illustrated his potential as a regista. Unfortunately his form did tail off towards the end of the season, but that was possibly due to the fatigue after playing so many matches.
The term ‘uncompromising defender’ is probably the best description of Polish international Kamil Glik, and he formed a fantastic defensive partnership with the more elegant Angelo Ogbonna this season. Towards the end of the season he used his fantastic heading ability to score two important goals, and whilst he will be disappointed that he has not been included in Poland’s 23 man squad for the Euros, that should not take anything away from a magnificent season.
Experienced full back Alessandro Parisi has had some troubling times on and off the field this season, but the fact he was one of only five men to play over 3000 minutes for Toro this season justifies his nomination. Although he is not the player he once was, on occasion he did display the quality that helped him earn a solitary Italy cap in 2004.
Many fans were excited when Torino were able to acquire Stefano Guberti on loan from Roma in the summer, but unfortunately injuries have prevented him from becoming a regular member of the team. However, despite playing just eight matches – he was able to assist two goals and undoubtedly would have contributed more had he not been unlucky with injury.
How to Vote
Now the important part, if you would like to vote in for these awards - all you need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and rank the five players from 1-5 in each category. The player who is ranked 1st will be awarded 5 points, and the player ranked 5th will be awarded 1 point - this should hopefully be the best and easiest way to crown a winner for each award.
E.G - If you believe that Alessandro Parisi has been the 'Signing of the Season' and Stefano Guberti is the least worthy of the players nominated - then your email may look like this.
1. Alessandro Parisi
2. Giuseppe Vives
3. Kamil Glik
4. Manuel Iori
5. Stefano Guberti
Hopefully I've made this as uncomplicated as possible, and remember to vote for all three categories in your email. The voting will end after the Serie B Playoff Final 2nd Leg on June 9th.