Ben Waine named April nominee for Young Footballer of the Year
Wellington Phoenix forward Ben Waine couldn't stop scoring in April 2021, and his starring role in the Phoenix side throughout the month has earned the smiling assassin a worthy nomination for Young Footballer of the Year.
The 'Waine train' left the station in April as the teenager netted four goals in consecutive games, becoming the youngest 'Nix player to score five A-League goals in a single season along the way.
Waine's four April strikes took him to six for the campaign - just one behind the club's current leading scorers Ulises Dávila and Tomer Hemed on seven.
He began the month with a 45-minute display in Wellington's 3-2 loss to Melbourne City, before Phoenix boss Ufuk Talay inserted Waine into his starting lineup for the following four matches throughout the month. The 19-year-old ensured his side didn't taste defeat for the rest of April, helping secure eight points from a possible 12 (W2, D2).
Waine's set off on his scoring streak on April 11, when he found the dramatic winner for Wellington in a 3-2 triumph over Western United. The New Zealand native proceeded to net in a 3-1 win over Perth Glory away from home, before coming back to haunt the Green and Black with the opening goal in a 1-1 draw on April 22.
The Phoenix returned to action on ANZAC Day, April 25, when Waine drew his side level at 1-1 with Adelaide United before Tomer Hemed found a late winner for the in-form side.
After providing a platform in recent seasons for the likes of Liberato Cacace and Sarpreet Singh to seal European moves with sparkling A-League form, Wellington look to have uncovered another gem in Waine, who celebrated his 19th birthday in early May.
It's a well-deserved Young Footballer of the Year nomination for a young kid who displays a cunning eye for goals and a passion for his club - and does it all with a smile.
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