Elated with his success, the Taveuni lad dedicated the award to his parents and relatives at Naselesele, Taveuni.
He said hard work and sacrifice were the ingredients of his success.
"I never expected to be named the player of the year. In fact, I was expecting Roy Krishna's name to be called out," said Mateinaqara.
"But I thank the Almighty Lord for blessing my soccer career through this award.
"I am happy to win the award and I believe it has been achieved through hard work and sacrifice.
"The award is also dedicated to my Nadi teammates, officials and fans who supported me last year and enabled me to achieve this milestone."
Mateinaqara said the award would be a morale-booster as he prepares to lead the Jetsetters in the upcoming O'League championship.
He said the award would motivate him to work hard and to lead by example in his aim to help Nadi win the O'League.
"This award will inspire me to perform better this season — I am ready to give my best for Nadi this season.
"My first focus is the game against Auckland City in the O'League championship."
Nadi won four awards compared with Ba's three at the awards night.
The green machine also won the popular player of the year (Rusiate Matarerega), coach of the year (Kamal Swammy), player of the year(Mateinaqara and fair play award (Munit Krishna).
Suva (Fiji Times)