Goalkeeper scoops prize for Jon De Souza’s table-topping Under-18sNik Tzanev was presented with the Mary Halder Youth Team Players’ Player of the Year award at half-time during Saturday’s match with Millwall.
The 18-year-old picked up the award after an impressive season for Jon De Souza’s Youth Team which culminated in his selection for the New Zealand Under-20 squad last month.
Nik, who moved to the UK from New Zealand in 2006, made his Youth Team debut as a 16-year-old in 2013.
He played 17 games for the Youth Team last season and has reached that same number against this campaign.
Brentford have the meanest defence in the Under-18 Professional Development League Two South, which they currently lead by 11 points, having conceded just 33 goals in 25 matches.
The Bees have won eight of their last nine league matches and have already guaranteed a top two finish which sees them entered into the end of season play-offs against the top two from the Two North division.
This season Nik has kept three clean sheets and that form has also seen him appear twice for Lee Carsley’s Development Squad.
Nik’s form has not gone unnoticed at international level either where he has been named in the New Zealand Under-20s squad for two friendlies next month away in Uzbekistan.
Nik is one of two goalkeepers named for the friendlies which are being used to select the Junior All Whites squad for the Under-20 World Cup which kicks off this May in New Zealand.
Speaking after Nik had picked up his award Youth Team Manager Jon De Souza said: “I am delighted for Nik to have won the award.
“It has been a very successful season so far for the Youth Team and Nik has been a big part of that success.
“Nik only trains with us two or three times a week as he is on a Youth Development contract, not a full scholarship, while he finishes his studies.
“For him to make the progress that he has in recent months shows his dedication and desire to train and work hard.
“We are all really pleased for Nik and hope he will continue to work hard and improve in the coming months and years.”