DAMIEN Puyenbroek earnt a man of the match nod from Tamworth FC coach Wayne May after the centre back held the defence together to absorb relentless pressure from Oxley Vale Attunga and go on to win the Northern Inland Premier League grand final 1-nil on Saturday.
In a very defensive game, both sets of backs put on a master class, making for a game with very few real scoring opportunities, but Puyenbroek’s performance was a step above.
Not only did the big back spoil countless attacking raids himself, he also held the back four and midfield together and directed the whole team from the back with great communication and vision.
“It has been my job all season to keep the shape at the back and we have worked hard all year,” Puyenbroek said.
“We have kept 13 or 14 clean sheets this season and if you can do that you are going to win a lot of games.”
“It is a pleasure to play with these boys, they make it easy.”
The towering defender said the game was like a dogfight that could have gone either way, but thought FC had better discipline and that could have been the difference.
“For all the attack and possession they had in the last 20 minutes they still didn’t get any clean opportunities.”
“We gave them no freedom around the box and our discipline and organisation was excellent under that pressure.”
This was Puyenbroek’s second premiership in two attempts after moving to Tamworth from South Australia two years ago.
“It has been fantastic and to do it twice is amazing.”
“We knew we had the team to do it all year, now the challenge is to be the first team to go three in a row.”
Tamworth FC and second grade champions, North Companions, will be honoured at the first Northern Inland Football Premier League presentation night this Saturday.
To be held in the new Tamworth Jockey Club function room, Golden Boot award winners and a PL All Star team will also be named on a night where A League coaches Gary van Egmond (Newcastle Jets) and Graham Arnold (Central Coast Mariners) will also be present.
Their two sides play an A League trial at Scully Park from 2pm this Sunday.