Behich Nominated For Young Footballer of the Year

Melbourne Heart FC's Aziz Behich has been announced as the January nomination for the 2010/11 NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.

Football Federation Australia and NAB are proud to announce the sixth nominee for the 2010/11 NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.

Westpac Melbourne Heart-s Aziz Behich was voted as the most outstanding U/21 player for the month of January.

Determined by a panel of experts, Behich was judged on his performance over weeks 21-25 of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.

Westpac Melbourne Heart Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said Behich-s success this season provides a great example for youngsters wishing to climb the professional ranks.

“I think Aziz is a great story for young players to follow. It-s an example for all other young players that it-s possible to become a professional if you have the right attitude. He took the chance that we gave him, he wanted to learn, he was open,” he said.

“He-s still young, he can learn a lot and we think he-s a young talented player who has proven himself already. We hope of course though that he can continue to make huge steps to get better and have a great career.”

Behich said he is delighted to be rewarded for his performances this season, acknowledging the support he has received from the Heart coaching staff.

“Obviously it-s an honour to be recognised for playing well and it feels good. I-d like to thank the coaching staff for having faith and playing me each week and for showing confidence in my ability to play a new position,” he said.

“When I first came to Heart, I put my hand up to play any position and I was happy to play anywhere on the park. I-ve really enjoyed my new role as a left back.”

Behich is the sixth nominated player to be announced, in a list that includes North Queensland Fury-s Chris Payne, Adelaide United-s Mathew Leckie, Brisbane Roar-s Luke DeVere and Central Coast Mariners pair Mustafa Amini and Matthew Ryan.

These six players will be joined in future weeks by one more U/21 player to qualify to be named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year at the Hyundai A-League Awards.

The overall winner will receive a $10,000 personal investment portfolio, a NAB Private Client Manager to assist with a range of banking and financial services, and the inaugural NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.

To acknowledge the vital role junior football clubs play in the development of today-s young stars as they strive to reach their potential, NAB will also present a $3,000 equipment pack to Aziz Behich-s nominated junior club, Meadow Park Eagles Soccer Club.