Melbourne Heart’s Aziz Behich has been voted as the most outstanding U21 A-League player for the month of January.
Behich has become the sixth nominee for the 2010/11 NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.
The 20-year old midfielder-turned-defender has been a revelation for the Heart this season, making the left-back position his own in 20 starts and 24 total appearances for the season thus far.
Behich’s performances over weeks 21-25 of the A-League season were determined by a panel of judges to be the best by a player under the age of 21 in the competition.
He is the sixth nominated player to be announced, joinin 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.
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.”
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 Behich’s nominated junior club, Meadow Park Eagles Soccer Club.