Nina Kondo in action against Waterside-Karori. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Wairarapa is well represented in the finalists for the Capital Football Annual Awards announced this week.

For the first time, the awards will cover all aspects of the community game, including local leagues and those who work behind the scenes to make sure games go ahead.

Solway College student Nina Kondo is one of three finalists in the Young Women’s Player of the Year category.

The 15-year-old moved to the region from Nelson this year to join the Paul Ifill Football Academy and played for the Tumu ITM Wairarapa United Women in the W-League.

After a slow start to the season, Kondo flourished and was picked for the New Zealand Under-16 team. She helped them finish second in an international tournament in China.

The other finalists in this category are Ariana Gray [Petone] and Zoe Barrott [Waterside-Karori].

The finalists for the inaugural Wairarapa Local League Player of the Year are Cory Burling, from Douglas Villa, and Aaron Spierling and Waisake Sabutu from Wairarapa United Social.

Wairarapa United women’s second team player, Gemma Keen, is a finalist for the Women’s Capital One to Three Player of the Year category.

Wairarapa United chairwoman Gill Flower and Douglas Villa junior co-ordinator Ange Pope are among the five finalists for Club Administrator of the Year.

Douglas Villa’s Dennis Burling has been nominated for Club Volunteer of the Year.

Wairarapa United groundsman Kevin Wilson is a finalist for Personality of the Year, which goes to the person who has brought an “exceptional amount of passion, colour, flair, and energy to the game’.

The awards ceremony is on September 26 at the Petone Working Men’s Club.