may not be expected to win the World Cup’s golden boot but three All
Whites are in the running for another international award.

Captain Ryan Nelsen, striker Shane Smeltz and defender Ivan Vicelich
are among 10 finalists for the 2009 Oceania Football Confederation
(OFC) player of the year awards.

The winner will be announced during an OFC Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, this month.

Smeltz won the award in 2007 and 2008, and Nelsen won it in 2006.

The awards focus on the performances of players for a 12-month period
from January, 2009, taking in New Zealand’s qualification for this
month’s World Cup in South Africa.

A stunning goal into earn New Zealand a win in South Africa could
prove the tipping point to the award. Let’s hope one of them manages it!