21 Jul 2012

New Zealander picks up OFC honour

12:24 pm on 21 July 2012

The New Zealand defender Rebecca Smith and New Caledonian striker Bertrand Kai have been named the Oceania Football Confederation's women's and men's Players of the Year.

The talented duo held off the challenge of a raft of the Pacific's finest players to receive the accolades and, despite a strong field in both categories, emerged as clear winners after 12 months of both personal milestones and major contributions to team success.

Voting was open to members of the OFC Executive Committee, as well as presidents, general secretaries, national team coaches and technical directors from each of the 11 member associations within Oceania.

It is the first time either player has received the award - New Zealand pair Ryan Nelsen and Ali Riley were the 2010 winners - and their dual recognition is also a significant moment in that both awards have previously gone to New Zealand players in the three years since a women's category was introduced in 2008.