Ally and Iwa make Lotto NRFL Awards shortlist
Following the first stage of public voting for the Lotto NRFL Awards, the second stage has now opened as the search to find the competition’s top performers heats up.
A total of 46 players across the four divisions of the Lotto NRFL competition were selected as the best in their respective teams by open public voting which closed on September 20.
Stage two of the process pits those winners against each other within the respective divisions, finding the four Player of the Year award winners.
Goal scorers have been given a high value by the public with a host of regular net-busters making it to the second stage. Nathaniel Bowen (Eastern Suburbs), Jama Boss (Hamilton Wanderers) and Myer Bevan (Western Springs) have all been recognised after being among the top scorers in the Premier League while Division One sharp-shooters Jerahl Hughes (Tauranga City United), Trent Mayes (Hibiscus Coast) and Sanni Issa (Mangere United) have also progressed.
Surprisingly, Division Two Golden Boot winner Valerio Nawatu has been overlooked in favour of Papakura City team mate David Allan but the goal-grabbing exploits of Mark Withers (Oratia United) and Leome Funafuti (Te Atatu) in Division Two have not gone unnoticed.
Women's Premier Golden Boot winner Helen Collins is another notable omission with the other half of Claudelands Rovers' deadly duo, Kate Loye, making it through instead, along with Collins' goal-scoring rival Katie Rood (Glenfield Rovers).
A host of midfielders also feature but the defensive side of the game has not been neglected by observers. A group of defenders – including Joseph Dawkins (Onehunga Sports), Fredrik Ljungberg (Ellerslie), Hone Fowler (Manukau City) and Elizabeth Anton (Lynn-Avon United) – have all been recognised, as have a quartet of goalkeepers in Alex Carr (East Coast Bays), Jason Mann (Melville United), Louie Caunter (Forrest Hill-Milford United) and David Masters (Albany United).
The voting process has highlighted the quality of player currently plying their trade in the Lotto NRFL with three former All Whites - Chad Coombes (Birkenhead United), Allan Pearce (Three Kings United) and James Pritchett (Bay Olympic) - all being selected, as well as two Football Ferns in Daisy Cleverley (Forrest Hill-Milford United) and Rebecca Tegg (Western Springs).
In the Coach of the Year category, those who led their side to title-winning glory in each division have been singled out. Malcolm McPherson, fresh from earning a rare league and ASB Chatham Cup double with Eastern Suburbs, is included and will fight it out with David Mulligan (Forrest Hill-Milford United), Jason Heather (Papakura City) and Alan Witt (Claudelands Rovers women) for the major prize.
Over the coming days, we will take a closer look at some of the players and coaches in line for the awards before stage two voting closes on October 5.
The Lotto NRFL Official of the Year award winner is selected by the league’s referee appointments panel based on reviews by appointed assessors.
Please click the links below to make your selections in the 2015 Lotto NRFL Awards.
Premier League Player of the Year
Women's Premier Player of the Year
Division One Player of the Year
Division Two Player of the Year
Coach of the Year
Source: Auckland Football Federation