Bernie Ibini November's stand-out star

Bernie Ibini from Central Coast Mariners was voted as the most outstanding U/21 player for the month of November following standout performances in the clubs opening matches with his exciting attacking play which resulted in two goals.

Football Federation Australia and NAB are proud to announce the second nominee for the 2011/12 NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.

Bernie Ibini from Central Coast Mariners was voted as the most outstanding U/21 player for the month of November following standout performances in the clubs opening matches with his exciting attacking play which resulted in two goals.

Determined by a panel of experts the NAB Young Footballer of the Year - November nominee, Ibini, was judged on his performance over weeks 5-8 of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

Ibini is the second nominated player to be announced for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award following James Brown-s October nomination. Ibini will be joined by a further four players in future weeks to qualify to be named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year at the Hyundai A-League Awards in 2012.

The overall winner will receive a $10,000 personal investment portfolio, a NAB Private Client Manager to assist with a range of banking and financial services, and the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.

To acknowledge the vital role junior football clubs play in the development of today-s young stars as they strive to reach their potential, NAB will also present a $3,000 equipment pack to Earlwood Wanderers Football Club, the football club that Ibini nominated for assisting most in his junior development.

With his nomination in the NAB Young Footballer of the Year competition now secured, Ibini will look to keep up his impressive performances in the hope of following in the footsteps of teammate Mathew Ryan, who won the award last Hyundai A-League season.

“The first I heard about it was this morning from ‘Arnie- (Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold)” Ibini said. “It was a really good shock".

“I think the past two games I could have played a bit better but to score two goals in the first two matches I started was definitely a great experience.”

Despite clearly working his way into Arnold-s first team reckoning, Ibini said he wouldn-t be resting on his laurels for the rest of the 2011/12 season due to the competition he faces for a place in the squad - let alone the starting eleven - on a weekly basis.

“You can never be comfortable because there are a lot of great players in this team,” he said. “But I think I have been doing pretty well and hopefully I can continue that.”

Arnold praised Ibini-s stellar start to the campaign, but said he still had aspects of his game to improve.

“This is a great reward for Bernie but he knows he can be even better, and that is an exciting prospect not only for him, but for me, everyone involved with the Mariners, and Australian football," Arnold said.