FSF Awards 2013 - Meet the Contenders (Part 1)

In just over a week voting will close in the FSF Awards 2013 in association with William Hill. More than 125,000 votes have already been cast in the opening two weeks of voting, but there's time left for you to choose your favourite before voting closes on 6th December.

On the blog this week we'll give you a brief run-down of all the shortlisted nominees across our ten categories and why they made the shortlist from the hundreds of entries nominated, just in case you had not yet decided who you were going to vote for. To cast your vote, simply head to www.fsf.org.uk/awards.

Voting closes at noon on Friday 6th December, and the winners will be announced at our awards dinner at the Emirates Stadium on the evening Monday 16th December.

First up is Part 1 - Player of the Year and Blogger of the Year.

Player of the Year

Leighton BainesBaines is a mainstay of an increasingly solid Everton defence, while at the same time creating more chances than any other player in the Premier League last season. The Everton player seems sure to make the England left-back spot his own for a number of years to come. 

Christian BentekeSigned on deadline day in August 2012 Benteke was quick to make an impact, and hasn’t stopped scoring since. Notching better than a goal every two games since his arrival he looks a bargain at £7m, and his contribution up front was key in helping Aston Villa avoid relegation last term.  

Juan MataWith an excellent set-piece delivery Mata is as likely to create goals as he is to score them, setting up more goals for his teammates in 2012/13 than anyone else. The outcry over his absence from the Chelsea line-up at the start of this season spoke volumes as to his ability, and he has quickly re-established himself in the starting XI.

Luis SuarezA controversial figure, but without doubt one of the most talented players plying his trade in England today. The Premier League’s second-top goalscorer in 2012/13, Suarez has begun this season as he finished last, being a menace to defenders and scoring a hatful of goals.

Robin Van PersieIn his first season at Old Trafford his goalscoring exploits were crucial to Manchester United claiming their 20th title. He’s continued his rich vein of form this year, and has been one of the Premier League’s outstanding players in 2013.

Pablo ZabaletaManchester City’s full-back has turned in a year of fantastic performances, winning plaudits from press and fans alike, and is now the club’s vice captain. As the saying among City fans goes ‘Always be yourself, unless you can be Pablo Zabaleta, then be Pablo Zabaleta.’

Blogger of the Year

Adam Hurrey - Football Cliches - Football Clichés is a crusade to analyse and dissect the art of the football cliché. The saturation of football coverage has ensured the emergence of a code, to which everyone in football unwittingly adheres. Literally over the moon to be up there with your Jonathan Wilsons and David Conns of the world on the FSF awards shortlist.

Ian King - TwoHundredPercent - One of the longest standing members of the footballing blogosphere, Ian started Twohundredpercent way back in 2006. He describes the site as ‘about the politics, culture, financials and history of football’, and whether it’s spearing the worst owners in the game or highlighting an issue you didn’t know about in football’s lower reaches, it’s always an interesting read.  

Dave Lane - Beesotted - Relaunched with a revamped website aimed at recapturing the original fanzine spirit (the hard copy dates back to 1990), the team behind Beesotted have created one of the best club-based sites around. Their popular fan videos in particular stand out among their excellent coverage of all things Brentford.

Rob Langham - The Two Unfortunates - Rob Langham, co-editor of the Two Unfortunates, is at least 50% responsible for producing a sanctuary of calm and considered reflection on the footballing internet. Since 2009 TTU has been a non-partisan website focussing on the Football League, and its litany of guest contributors have kept up a tremendous standard of writing on all clubs.

Kieron O'Connor - Swiss Ramble - It’s testament to the effect that Kieron has had on the blogosphere that so many fans take his word as gospel. Putting to use his career in the world of finance, his insights into balance sheets and simple explanations of complex ideas appeal to the hardcore financial whizz and casual fan alike.

Greg Theoharis - Dispatches from a Football Sofa - Dispatches is consistently one of the most thought-provoking and well written blogs around, and while it has a healthy north London focus, Greg tackles features on other clubs and general issues in the game with aplomb.