The Wellington Phoenix have cleaned up in the Hyundai A-League monthly awards for December, taking out all three top awards.
Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has been voted the Hyundai A-League Coach of the Month for December – in his first year as a head coach – with an overwhelming 72% of the vote, beating out Sydney FC coach, Steve Corica and Perth Glory’s Tony Popovic in the process.
Alongside Coach Talay, 21-year-old midfielder Wellington Phoenix Cameron Devlin claimed the Hyundai A-League Player of the Month award for December following an impressive string of performances last month as the club extended their unbeaten run. Devlin edged out Phoenix teammate Ulises Davila to the December prize, having accumulated 46% of the vote to Davila’s 35%.
And Phoenix attacker Reno Piscopo has been named the Hyundai A-League’s December nominee for the Young Footballer of the Year. In his first season in the Hyundai A-League, 21-year-old Piscopo started all five matches in December and thrived as one of the team’s most creative players. His standout performance came against Sydney FC in Round 11 where he scored Wellington’s opening goal before providing the assist for Ulises Davila’s strike.
As a club, the Wellington Phoenix were unbeaten in the month of December; starting the month by beating Adelaide United (2-1) and Western Sydney Wanderers (2-1), before collecting draws against Melbourne Victory (0-0) and champions Sydney FC (2-2), and finishing off with a dominant win over rivals Western United (3-1).
Wellington Phoenix General Manager, David Dome, says that the awards are validation of the effort that these personnel – and the hard-working football operations team surrounding them – have put in this season.
“I’m very happy that Ufuk, Cameron and Reno have all been selected for these awards, it’s a well-deserved honour for each of them – and an endorsement of the positive direction that our club is heading.
“Full credit to Coach Talay for his role in building this team – including hand-picking Cameron and Reno and helping bring out their potential this season – and for the work he’s done with building a winning culture for this team.
“And a huge acknowledgment must go also to the owners; this is validation that their continued and significant investment into this football club is heading in the right direction.”