I would like to nominate George Romo from the Red 2008 Boys team.
Honestly, the progress that he has made over the past year had been incredible. He began as a player i was challenged to find a role for, he floated around from CM to CB and on occasions was playing no more than 10-15 minutes per game. We had a strong CB in our team named Adam and in 9-a-side you typically want to go with 3-4-1 so only have room for one CB with the two wing backs staying compact when defending to almost make a back 3.
George never gave up, never quit, did not stop trying even though he was playing very few minutes and never once questioned why I wasn't playing him more. He just continued to improve in practice and also work on his own.
Fast forward to now. He has made it impossible to drop him, playing almost every single minute of every single game since the beginning of last season.
He was a Key player in us winning the Home tournament we had at the end of last year but i think something that is particularly special is the following:
You very rarely see games without both sides scoring especially with decent teams playing. Most games at the u11/u12 age end up with both teams being able to score goals, the reason being, at 11 years old it is very hard to convince a player to play as a CB and further more if they do accept it, it is a further challenge to convince them that their role is to win the ball and every time they do so, immediately release it to a teammate.
In the first round of our Commissioners Cup in the 3 matches we played we were able to keep a clean sheet in the first two games we played on the Saturday against pretty good opposition. The whole team was incredible but George was awesome, AWESOME. He won tackle after tackle, using speed, strength, he was not getting beaten by anyone. He was very composed on the ball, never panics when a attacker is approaching him at speed. never tries to over complicate things, plays simple passes to feet once he wins the ball.
I've also attached a video that Georges mum Josie sent to me over Christmas. George continued to work alone over the holidays and this really paid off as he came back in even better shape than before the holidays. I think it was remarkable for George to want to continue to train and push himself even though we had just won a tournament.
Ultimately I would find it very hard to believe anyone has improved as much as george has over the past year and he now very much seems to me like someone who shows all the abilities to play Football in the future at a high level.
As you may know i really push my team to not just be talented players but also the fittest and most physical team. At the beginning of this season i had the boys all do 10 lap runs around a full field. George would finish these in tears having pushed himself so hard to achieve a good time and make sure he didn't walk at all.
As you can tell I am a huge fan of George and i really really hope you chose to award him with this achievement as i believe it would be very appreciated by him, he is a player that plays without any ego or attitude.
I really believe George would be a perfect choice for this.