Sun Hei defender Cristiano Cordeiro is footballer of the year for the second time. But the Brazilian won't know about his success because he was absent from last night's Sunray Cave Top Footballer Awards on holiday. Somebody from his club will have to relay the good news to him as he soaks up the sun and relaxes in Brazil. Cordeiro also won in 2001 but this honour will mean more to the player, who recovered from a broken ankle last year to enjoy his best season to date. Sun Hei clubmate Lee Kin-wo, who was among the 11 top players honoured during the ceremony, praised Cordeiro's hard work and persistence. 'To come back from a broken ankle is hard for any player, but Cris showed spirit and commitment throughout the season,' said Lee. 'To play to that sort of standard after such a mishap is really very hard. All credit to him and Cris fully deserved the award.' Cordeiro's award, the most prestigious given by the Hong Kong FA, was voted by the local press, public and a voting panel and was worth $40,000 to him. Picking up two awards last night was Happy Valley goalkeeper, Fan Chun-yip, who was voted the most popular footballer in an internet poll. Fan garnered 894 votes, 54 more than Cordeiro. 'I didn't really have a great season because Happy Valley failed to win any major trophies,' said Fan. 'But I thought I was pretty consistent and I managed to stay out of the bad books. I thought my teammate, Lau Chi-keung, would win this award because he had a pretty good season. But you can't complain. 'I am happy that I am still popular with fans. Hopefully, this will spur me on to do better for the coming season,' he said. Lau was also voted in the league's top 11, as were Gerard Ambassa Guy (Happy Valley), Keith Gumbs (Kitchee) Carlo Hartwig (Sun Hei), Lee Wai-man (Happy Valley), Cheung Sai-ho (Happy Valley), Ma Shuai (Citizen) and Wilfred Bamnjo (Kitchee). Meanwhile, Hong Kong Football Club decided they were not ready for promotion and declined an invitation to play in the senior league this season despite winning the Second Division by 15 points.