Kyle Bekker isn't much interested in talking about himself. The Forge FC captain, now nominated for the CPL's Player of the Year award for the second year in a row, insists that he isn't going to sing his own praises. "To be honest I haven't really thought about it too much since the season ended — years ago, is what it feels like at this point," he told CanPL.ca. "I'd obviously be very excited about it, it'd be a great honour." Bekker is happy to leave it up to others to make the case for him — which isn't particularly hard to do, of course. In his two years at Forge, Bekker has been the engine of a midfield that has won two championships. He scored three goals at The Island Games, and he was dominant on both sides of the ball through all 11 games. Regardless, Bekker would much rather chat about those around him. Two other members of Forge FC are nominated for awards, with Triston Henry tapped for a Goalkeeper of the Year nomination and Bobby Smyrniotis up for Coach of the Year once again. "I think those two are absolutely no-brainers, you have to give it to them," he said. "If they screw this one up again and don't give it to the two of them, something's going on here (laughs). I'm gonna have to question whoever's doing this polling."
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Forge players have made it known throughout 2020 that they believed both Henry and Smyrniotis should've claimed these two awards in 2019 — won by Cavalry FC's Marco Carducci and Tommy Wheeldon Jr., respectively. They've been vocal on social media every time they've felt Henry hasn't gotten his fair share of credit for what he's accomplished in two years at the club. "(Henry) really deserves it, and I think I'm a little biased because I get to see the work he's put in and the growth he's had over two years," Bekker said. "Obviously the fact the guy hasn't given up a goal in two finals — there's no other goalie that can say that. He's got two shifts and three clean sheets. I think that's all the argument you need." The Hamilton-based club definitely wouldn't be where it is today without the work of its goalkeeper, who, as Bekker pointed out, hasn't conceded a goal in either the 2019 or the 2020 CPL Finals. He posted five clean sheets in his 10 starts at The Island Games, winning six times and losing just once. It won't factor into the CPL Awards, but Henry's rock-solid performances in the past two months during Forge's Concacaf League run are further proof of his talent and value to the club. As for Smyrniotis, Bekker was clear that none of it would be possible without the successful Forge coach, who assembled the squad and deployed it in some of the most impressive tactical performances the CPL has ever seen. "Bobby just speaks for himself" Bekker said. "What he's achieved here with this group is nothing short of incredible, and I think he's hands down the best coach in this league, and no one deserves it more than him." At the 2019 CPL Awards, all of Forge's hardware was won by Tristan Borges. This time around, after winning another championship without the young attacker, Bekker is hoping the wealth might be spread around a little more. If that includes taking home the Nikisuittuq trophy himself, even better.