Rovers make awards impact

By ANENDRA SINGH sports editor

IT STILL makes them cringe watching slide shots of 2011 Chatham Cup champions Wairarapa United celebrating but the Napier City Rovers Club stalwarts have a lot to smile about as an elite soccer community.

The Hawke's Bay flagship club claimed two bragging rights on Thursday night at the annual 2011 New Zealand Football Awards at Sky City Hamilton.

Club secretary Jill Wilson was reluctant to go on stage but a proud chairman Russell Booth picked up the Programme of the Year title as the first award of the ceremony before he joined Bluewater Napier City Rovers captain Bill Robertson to collect the All Whites Community Impact Award.

Holding an oversized $250 ASB Bank cheque in his hand afterwards, a beaming Booth said another figure "two" in front of the prizemoney would have been nice, but all that did not take away from what the inaugural awards mean to the club.

"It's all about the hard work everyone at the club puts in and, yes, you can't put a money value to something like that, can you?"

Robertson is the co-ordinator of the Football For All programme for about 7000 primary and intermediate children in the Bay. He uses the help of about a dozen talented players from Rovers and other clubs, such as Maycenvale United and Taradale AFC, to hone the youngsters' skills.

Wilson, who didn't have any qualms minutes later to pose for a photo with Booth, has been co-ordinating the match-day booklets.

"I do it after work and it takes me about two to three hours," said the part-time employee of an Onekawa construction company.

Wilson has got the work of collating players' names, lower grade coaches' reports and visiting clubs' history, among other things, down to an art.

"I have to rely on everyone to send them to me so I go through to correct the spelling and grammar but it's pretty good by Tuesday before it goes to print the next day.

"They see me coming with a big stick if they don't," says a jovial mother of Central League players Stu and Danny Wilson, whose father Malcolm Wilson is the manager of the premier winter league team.

Nevertheless, she was quick to point out she enjoyed attending the awards night to collect the prize but it wasn't about her at all.

"It was brilliant and I'm thrilled but it's not my honour.

"I love the club and that's why I do it."

She lauded club stalwart Willie Stanger, a graphic designer, for providing the template for sprucing up the glossy cover before jetting off to Melbourne in January to work there.

Hawke's Bay Today sports editor Anendra Singh also clinched the inaugural Regional-Community Writer of the Year Award.

Hannah Wilkinson collected multiple honours as Ali Riley and Chris Wood smashed records at the awards.

West Ham's Winston Reid, who was ruled out of the All Whites' quest to defend their OFC Nations Cup title with a groin injury, picked up the men's player of the year - voted by a cross-section of the soccer community - and the inaugural NZPFA player's player of the year award - as voted by his teammates.

Swedish-based Riley extended her dominance of the women's player of the year award winning that category for the fifth time - and fourth in succession - after a WPS-winning season in the US.

However, Riley and her teammates voted defender Abby Erceg the inaugural Football Ferns players' player of the year, recognising her importance to the team in their World Cup year.

Wood's scoring exploits in the English Championship and League One throughout 2011 saw the former Hamiltonian become the first person to win three young men's player of the year titles, adding another plaque to those won for the 2008 and 2009 calendar years.

The biggest haul of awards went to Wilkinson who collected three gongs; the young women's player of the year and both the ASB Women's League's player of the year and golden boot trophies following a record scoring effort on the domestic front and a breakthrough year with the national team.

The Young All Whites, who progressed to the knockout stages of the Fifa under-17 World Cup in Mexico, were resounding winners of the team of the year award, and Auckland City's dominance at domestic level in 2011 was recognised with Ramon Tribulietx winning coach of the year.

Wellington's Island Bay United received the commercial partnership award for building relationships with Capital Football and the Wellington City Council that yielded in a new artificial turf at Wakefield Park.

The awards covered the 2011 calendar year with the exception of the 2011-12 ASB Premiership and ASB Women's League awards.

2011 winners





NZPFA All Whites players' player of the year: Winston Reid.

Football Ferns players' player of the year: Abby Erceg.

Nike men's player of the year: Winston Reid (All Whites & West Ham United).

Nike women's player of the year: Ali Riley (Football Ferns & Western New York Flash).

Team of the year: Young All Whites (NZ U-17).

Coach of the year: Ramon Tribulietx (Auckland City).

Nike young men's player of the year (U-20): Chris Wood (All Whites, West Bromwich Albion, Brighton & Birmingham City).

Nike young women's player of the year (U-20): Hannah Wilkinson (Football Ferns & Northern Football).

ASB Premiership player of the year 2011/12: Chris Bale (Waitakere United).

ASB women's youth league player of the year 2011/12: Hannah Wilkinson (Northern Football).

Referee of the year: Peter O'Leary.

Assistant referee of the year: Jan-Hendrik Hintz.

NZF merit award: Peter O'Leary & Jan-Hendrik Hintz (for selection to the London Olympics).

Futsal player of the year: Dylan Manickum.

Outstanding volunteer award: Caroline Mason (Cashmere Technical).

All Whites community impact award: Bluewater Napier City Rovers.

Commercial partnership award: Island Bay United, Wellington.

ASB whole of football club of the year: Pukekohe AFC, Auckland.

Programme of the Year: Napier City Rovers.

Publication of the Year: The Waikato Chronicles, by Bruce Holloway.

Writer of the Year: Tony Smith (Christchurch Press).

Regional-Community Writer of the Year: Anendra Singh (Hawke's Bay


Photographer of the Year: Shane Wenzlick (Phototek).

Radio Broadcaster of the Year: Jason Pine (The Radio Network).

Television Broadcaster of the Year: Gordon Glen Watson (Glenstrae Media).

Jim McMullan Service to Football Award: Dave Maisey.




- Hawkes Bay Today

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