Winston Reid has been sidelined for the All Whites' Oceania Nations Cup tournament tilt but the West Ham United star was centre-stage last night, winning New Zealand Football's 2011 player of the year crown.
The 23-year-old, who played an integral role in West Ham winning promotion to the English premier league next season, also won a coveted new award - players player of the year, voted by his All Whites' peers - at the NZF prizegiving in Hamilton.
Reid, who scored the All Whites' goal in a 1-1 draw with Slovakia at the 2010 World Cup finals, joined West Ham after that tournament and played occasionally in the premiership in the 2010-11. But after the Hammers were relegated to the Championship second-tier, he became a regular fixture in defence, playing 30 games and scoring three goals.
The player of the year award - so often the preserve of six-time winner Ryan Nelsen _ was contested by Reid, fellow All Whites defender Ben Sigmund, the Wellington Phoenix's player of the year for a second successive season, and young West Bromwich Albion-registered striker Chris Wood.
But Wood was still a winner. The 20-year-old, who proved a goal scoring success during loan spells at Brighton and Birmingham City, won the young male player of the year award for the third time in four years, this time in his Hamilton home town.
Wood was not present to pick up his prize - he and Sigmund are in the Solomon Islands where the All Whites are preparing for their Oceania tournament opener against Fiji tomorrow (Saturday). Reid will miss the tournament with a groin injury.