NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee – Princess Ibini (Sydney FC)

Still only 19, Princess Ibini has long been a part of the Westfield W-League furniture, but 2018/19 will go down as the season the Westfield Matilda developed into one of the finest forwards in the competition.

Ibini emerged as a key part of Sydney FC’s Championship win in the second half of the season.

Unsurprisingly, the Sky Blues attacker is one of three candidates to win the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.

Here’s why.

NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee: Ellie Carpenter (Canberra United)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee: Karly Roestbakken (Canberra United)

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Opta Widget: Ibini

Story of the Season

Young Matildas commitments made Ibini a latecomer to the Sky Blues charge… but when she arrived, boy did she arrive.

Ibini offered big impact off the bench, grabbing a goal and assist in Sydney’s 5-1 win over Brisbane Roar in Round 6, and followed that up by scoring a late double as the Sky Blues put another five past Adelaide United.

It was the sort of form that demanded regular selection, and Sydney boss Ante Juric duly obliged.

She added another goal to her tally in a 3-1 win over Newcastle Jets, and her seamless combination with the likes of Caitlin Foord, Savannah McCaskill and Chloe Logarzo turned the Sky Blues into a lethal attacking force that ultimately finished as worthy champions.

Game-changing: Princess Ibini made all the difference in Sydney FC's 5-1 win over Adelaide United

Why she is a good shout to be NAB Young Footballer of the Year

It is no mean feat for a teenage forward to nail down a regular position in a squad packed with experienced internationals, but by the conclusion of the campaign Ibini was simply undroppable.

Her ability to connect with more senior members of the Sydney attack, and the overall maturity to Ibini’s game, make her a great candidate to pick up NAB Young Footballer of the Year honours.

Ibini
Princess Ibini's attacking game came on in leaps and bounds in 2018/19