Soccer: Sigmund eyeing next season

Ben Sigmund won the top four playing awards, including the prestigious Player of the Year for a second successive season. Photo / Getty Images
Ben Sigmund won the top four playing awards, including the prestigious Player of the Year for a second successive season. Photo / Getty Images

Within hours of snaring the major honours at the Wellington Phoenix awards dinner last night, Ben Sigmund is already looking ahead to next season.

Sigmund won the top four playing awards, including the prestigious Player of the Year for a second successive season, to top off an outstanding season in the centre of defence.

Reflecting on his achievement today Sigmund, typically, shared the glory with his fellow defenders as well as extolling the virtues of the event.

"It was a fantastic night; special for everyone, including the fans," Sigmund said.

"I will look back when my career is over and enjoy what happened last night, but I've still got years ahead of me and I want to see us build on what we did this season.

"While I might have won those awards it couldn't have happened without Dura (Andrew Durante), Manny (Muscat) and Lochy (Tony Lochhead).

"We all work hard for each other and have built a special bond. Now we have to make sure all the hard work everyone put in this season isn't wasted.

"The off-season signings will be the key to how well we press on. If we can add a couple of quality players it will be great.

"We need a guy who can score 15 goals for us, to add to what Greenie (Chris Greenacre) and Iffie (Paul Ifill) have done so far."

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was delighted to see Sigmund make so many trips to the podium.

"Ben has been outstanding and he epitomises what this club is all about," Herbert said.

"He was one of a number of players who stood up and did a great job for us."

Sigmund now faces a battle to be fit for June's All Whites games against Honduras and El Salvador in Dallas, followed by the Oceania tournament in the Solomon Islands.

"Siggy will be desperate to be part of it and I'm confident he will be," Herbert said.

"We will be cautious with him and do all the necessary checks but he doesn't come in till May 20 so he is getting the break he needs and we will work from there."

Award winners:

Media Player of the Year: Ben Sigmund.

Volunteer of the Year: David Graham.

Members' Player of the Year: Ben Sigmund.

Golden Boot: Paul Ifill.

Fan of the Year: Dale Warburton.

Players' Player of the Year: Ben Sigmund.

Goal of the Year: Tim Brown.

Player of the Year: Ben Sigmund.

Lloyd Morrison Spirit of the Phoenix Award: Russell Gray

- APNZ

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