A-League: Newcastle Jets rookie Joe Champness named young player of month for December | photos

THUMBS UP: Rookie Jets striker Joe Champness has been rewarded for a fantastic start to the campaign by taking out the NAB Young Player of the Month for December. Picture: Darren Pateman
THUMBS UP: Rookie Jets striker Joe Champness has been rewarded for a fantastic start to the campaign by taking out the NAB Young Player of the Month for December. Picture: Darren Pateman

THE stocks of Jets rookie Joe Champness continue to rise after the winger was named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee for December on Wednesday.

Champness, 20, joins Melbourne City FC attacker Bruce Kamau (October) and Central Coast Mariners creative midfielder Daniel De Silva (November) as a nominee for the prestigious award which is presented at the end of the season.

The 20-year-old, who signed a scholarship with the Jets after being unwanted by Brisbane, has featured in every game and has been instrumental in Newcastle’s rise up the table.

A natural attacker, his first instinct is to play forward and he has the ability to glide past defenders.

During December, Champness contributed significantly in wins over Adelaide United, Western Sydney and Perth. Although unable to add to his two goals, he has been a constant threat on the left flank.

Jets coach Ernie Merrick said the young forward’s nomination was well-deserved.

“Joey has had an outstanding to start the season,” Merrick said. “He forced his way into the side based on his strong pre-season form and he hasn’t looked back, going from strength-to-strength every week. He’s got a knack for finding the goal and his contribution up front – for a player of his age – has been first class. “Joey has all the attributes to go a long way in the game and his work ethic is second-to-none – he’s been a fantastic find for the club.”

Champness’ nominated junior club, Moreton Bay United FC will receive a NAB Club Recognition Award, which includes a range of equipment along with $2000.

The overall winner of the NAB Young Footballer of the Year 2017/18 Award receives a $10,000 personal investment portfolio.

Each monthm representatives from the FFA Technical Department vote on a 3-2-1 basis for the most outstanding under-23 players in the A-League during that period.