Swifts close to Player of Year ti­tle

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - DWAYNE BARLOW

Mata­mata Swifts play­ers Sam Master­son and Ja­cob Fouhy have been voted the sec­ond best play­ers in their re­spec­tive Waikato Bay of Plenty-wide foot­ball leagues for the 2016 sea­son.

Play­ers from teams in a num­ber of Waikato Bay of Plenty Fed­er­a­tion-wide and lo­cal leagues were nom­i­nated by their coach­ing staff, then a pub­lic vote was run through the WaiBOP Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion’s web­site.

Master­son, from the Waikato Stud Mata­mata Swifts 1st team, and Fouhy, from the Swifts Un­der-13 team, came in sec­ond be­hind their leagues’ stand­out play­ers.

Swifts mid­fielder Master­son had his strong­est sea­son for third­placed Mata­mata and this was re­flected in the vote.

He came in be­hind Alan Fer­gu­son of Loaded WaiBOP Premier­ship cham­pi­ons, Ngongo­taha FC.

Mata­mata coach, Paul Richard­son, felt it was dif­fi­cult to pick just one player from his squad.

‘‘We had some re­ally good per­form­ers this sea­son and that led to a much bet­ter over­all fin­ish by the team.

‘‘We had flair, goals, good lo­cal play­ers, but Sam was a con­sis­tent per­former across the sea­son,’’ said Richard­son.

‘‘While it’s a team game, I’m pleased he’s been recog­nised out­side the club for his ef­forts. He did well for us.

‘‘He’s still a young player with plenty of po­ten­tial and I’m sure we’ll see even more from him in fu­ture sea­sons.’’

For the Swifts Un­der-13 team, the 2016 sea­son was a step into the un­known as it was the club’s first foray into Fed­er­a­tion-wide com­pe­ti­tion at that age group.

The team looked at home, de­spite Mata­mata be­ing the small­est club in­volved.

Coach, John Har­ris, was de­lighted to hear Fouhy was voted run­ner-up in the Player of the Year vote.

‘‘It’s great news. The Tau­ranga City guy [Daw­son Straf­fon] that won it was out­stand­ing; a fu­ture All White I think, so for Ja­cob to be voted sec­ond is an ex­cel­lent re­sult,’’ said Har­ris.

‘‘Ja­cob al­ways trained hard, at­tended ev­ery train­ing ses­sion and was our go to player to fill the gaps in the mid­field when our reg­u­lar mid­field play­ers were away.

‘‘In his reg­u­lar po­si­tion, how­ever, he was the best left back in the com­pe­ti­tion.’’

PHOTOS: DWAYNE BARLOW/SUP­PLIED

Sam Master­son, left, and Dwayne Sig­nal, right, in ac­tion dur­ing Waikato Stud Mata­mata Swifts 4-3 win over Ro­torua United.

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