Football award season is a curious beast, mostly because it doesn't really have much of a season and can happen at any moment depending on the award and who's giving it out. Some cover a calendar year, whereas others cover a multi-year football season, and it's not always clear which is which.
Slovakia chose this international break to give out its own awards for Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year, although it's unclear whether they're giving out a calendar-based award really late into the new year or a season-based award far earlier than most other countries. In any case, though he lost the Player of the Year honours to Marek Hamsik, Martin Skrtel earned the fan vote this year and he's very proud to have been selected.
"It was one of the best years for me, maybe even the best in my career so I am really happy," Skrtel said in a statement on his website. "I played regularly and even scored some goals. I had a great year in Liverpool and also with Slovakia as well. The fact that I finished second is not important to me. Marek is a great player and he deserves this award.
"I would like to thank my family. Things are much better when you have so much support and you could feel the love from them. I have a lovely wife and a beautiful son so I am really happy."
Skrtel and Hamsik have traded the top honour back and forth for the past eight years, with each player having won four times. Skrtel has not won since 2012, the same year he won Liverpool's own Player of the Year accolade. With two months remaining in the Premier League season, though, there's still some time before he'll know if he was able to parlay the form that won him Slovakia's fan award into a similar award on Merseyside this year .