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Feb 02, 2011   |  6:36PM AET

Behich Nominated For Young Footballer of the Year

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.