Swifts close to Player of Year title
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.’’
Sam Masterson, left, and Dwayne Signal, right, in action during Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 4-3 win over Rotorua United.