The AFF Suzuki Cup has long been a breeding ground for the region’s best young talent and the current edition once again has seen several starlets burst onto the scene to be nominated for the GOAL NXGN Award.

The six players that have been nominated, all aged 21 or below, were mostly unknown outside of their respective homelands entering the tournament but now have the potential to be household names across Southeast Asia.

Make sure to vote below and have your say as to who should receive the GOAL NXGN Award.


Pratama Arhan (Indonesia)


The 20-year-old full-back has been one of the star defenders at the tournament, regardless of age. A dynamic threat on the left flank, where he’s made half a dozen clearances and interceptions, he’s also a genuine threat in the final third with two goals, two assists and nine key passes to his name.

His long throw-ins have also made him a real threat from almost anywhere inside the opposition half as one of the rising starlets of Southeast Asian football.

Sieng Chanthea (Cambodia)


The latest young talent to come out of Cambodia entered the tournament with high expectations and, although he took a while to get going, the 19-year-old grew match-by-match as the creative hub for his nation.

Always willing to run at defences, he showed good vision and played an impressive seven key passes across the four group stage matches.

Alfeandra Dewangga (Indonesia)


Tall and powerful in the air yet graceful on the ball, 20-year-old Alfeandra is very much the prototype of a modern-day central defender.

He’s been an immense presence at the heart of what has usually been a back four for the Garuda where he’s racked up an incredible 25 clearances, 23 interceptions and four blocks. Going forward he’s also played four key passes and has looked a threat on set-pieces where he’s not been afraid to go for goal, even from distance.

Paulo Gali (Timor-Leste)

Timor-Leste may have lost all four of their matches but in opting to go with the youngest squad at the tournament they are laying the foundations for future success and one player who will surely be at the forefront of that is the electric playmaker Gali.

Despite his tender age of 17, he’s a dynamic and creative threat who loves to run at opposition players, has fine vision and movement and he’s very much one to watch in the coming years.

Witan Sulaeman (Indonesia)


It’s not often that the same player may well be in contention for the young star of the tournament and the overall MVP but that’s very much the case with this Indonesian starlet.

Comfortable and composed on the ball, with fine vision and movement, the 20-year-old midfielder has been a revelation in Singapore, where he’s scored two goals, provided three assists and played an eye-catching eight key passes.

Thanawat Suengchitthawon (Thailand)


Thailand have often produced midfielders that are either technically gifted or physical enough to dominate the central areas of the pitch, but not often have they had a young talent that combines those elements in the way that Thanawat does.

The 21-year-old is on the books of English club Leicester City and has shown just why in his first regional outing as he’s made five interceptions and four clearances in the defensive side of the game and has six key passes and an overall passing rate nudging 90% going forward.