The awards are decided on the performance of players and coaches for the regular season fixtures Round 13 and 14.
Team Wellington defender Luke Rowe has collected the ASB Premiership Player of the Month award for March-April.
Determined by a panel of football experts the ASB Premiership Monthly Awards –March-April, Rowe was today elated to be recognised as one of the competition’s top players.
“This is a great honour particularly because I had a setback with the Olympic Games qualifying squad selection, I’m trying to push on and work hard, and looking back its starting to pay off,” Rowe said.
Team Wellington’s two victories set up a semi-final showdown with minor premiers Auckland City that saw the capital men win through to the Grand Final.
“Team Wellington is a really close knit team and our form as a team has been a big factor in winning this award. You can feel the confidence around the training ground and everyone gets along with each other with a great team spirit. We could cause an upset in the final,” Rowe added.
But thoughts of next year’s O-League are on hold for the 20-year-old former Birmingham City player.
“I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t come up. But everyone is trying to keep their feet on the ground and our main focus is the Grand Final on Saturday with Waitakere United, nothing else,” he said.
Coach of the Month Keith Braithwaite nabs his first award of the season as his Canterbury United side finished minor premiership runners-up, their highest ever regular season finish, and completed the regular season unbeaten at home, scoring a whopping 28 goals and conceding just three. Canterbury United also finished the regular season on the verge of qualification for next year’s OFC Champions League.
The ASB Premiership Team of the Month has a capital flavour to it, recognising the hot run of form the Matt Calcott-coached side has strung together in the latter part of the regular season. Goalkeeper Phil Imray continued his fine form with his first nomination between the sticks for the Team of the Month this season. Auckland City defender Angel Berlanga is joined by Team Wellington’s Luke Rowe in a back four cemented by Johnny Raj and Auckland City’s Andrew Milne.
Otago United’s Harley Rodeka finished a strong season with strugglers Otago United and is the side’s ‘bolter’, while Waikato FC’s Ryan Thomas and Waitakere United’s Ryan de Vries makes the cut after a return to form including a goal in the Round 14 annihilation of YoungHeart Manawatu.
Solomon Islands international Henry Fa’arodo makes a triumphant return to form netting three goals in two games as the playoff series gets underway. Allan Pearce saw a return to form at just the right time for Waitakere United notching a brace over YoungHeart Manawatu. Aaron Clapham completes the line-up and a ASB Team of the Month clean sweep with the 25-year-old midfielder’s fifth nomination of the season.
ASB Premiership Coach of the Month – Keith BRAITHWAITE (Canterbury United)
ASB Premiership Player of the Month – Luke ROWE (Team Wellington)
ASB Premiership March-April Team of the Month
1. Phil IMRAY (Team Wellington)
2. Andrew MILNE (Auckland City)
3. Luke ROWE (Team Wellington)
4. Johnny RAJ (Team Wellington)
5. Angel BERLANGA (Auckland City)
6. Ryan de VRIES (Waitakere United)
7. Harley RODEKA (Otago United)
8. Ryan THOMAS (Waikato FC)
9. Henry FA’ARODO (Team Wellington)
10. Allan PEARCE (Waitakere United)
11. Aaron CLAPHAM (Canterbury United)