Burns trophy gathering continues with prestigious award

Nathan Burns’ trophy gathering continued yesterday when the Australian Football Media voted him the Hyundai A-League Player of the Year.

Phoenix striker Burns became only the second Australian-born player to win the prestigious award with Matt McKay being the other.

Previous winners were Thomas Broich (Germany), Alessandro Del Piero (Italy), Besart Berisha (Albania), Carlos Hernandez (Costa Rica) and McKay.

It has been a good week for Burns, who took home a hat-trick of trophies from the Wellington Phoenix awards dinner on Tuesday.

With 13 goals in a stellar season, Burns averaged 8.4 (from 10) in the voting with Melbourne Victory’s Gui Finkler (7.8) second and Sydney FC striker Marc Janko (7.6) third.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said Burns deserved enormous credit in winning the award.

“It has been an exceptional year for Nathan and his team-mates recognised that by voting him the club’s Players Player of the Year,” Merrick said.

“It shows that a club like the Phoenix and the A-League can be a place where players can continue to develop their talent.

“Nathan came to the club after playing in Europe and Asia and has been a revelation with his skills and goal scoring ability this season.

“We also brought in two young players from Europe in Roly Bonevacia, 22, and Alex Rodriguez, 21, who were virtually unheard of over there and they have developed their talents in the A-League making people sit up and take notice.”

Burns said being voted Player of the Year by the Australian media was a great honour.

“There are a lot of top-class players from overseas who have come to the A-League and it is a tough award to win, as shown by the previous winners,” the 26-year-old said.

“I’ve been really happy with the way I’ve been playing this season and that it has been recognised by my team-mates and the media.

“Personal achievements are nice but we still have the main part of the season to go and that is what I am concentrating on now.”