Gareth Bale retains FA of Wales player of the year award

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has left defenders trailing in his wake over the past year

Gareth Bale has won the Football Association of Wales Player of the Year award for the second year running.

The 22-year-old has continued to enhance his reputation with stand-out performances for Wales and Tottenham Hotspur over the past 12 months.

"It's a great award to win and a huge honour," Bale told BBC Wales Sport.

Swansea City's Ashley Williams won the Welsh Club Player of the Year for a third successive year, while club-mate Joe Allen won the young player prize.

The awards, voted by journalist and broadcasters, cover the period from October 2010 to October 2011.

During that time, midfielder Bale scored 10 goals for Spurs, which includes a spectacular second-half hat-trick in a 4-3 Champions League defeat to Inter Milan.

He followed that spectacular display with a man of the match display in the return fixture at White Hart Lane.

On the international stage, injury prevented Bale from playing in Wales' first four games of 2011, under Gary Speed's new regime.

But he played a key role as Wales won their first match in the Euro 2012 qualifiers by beating Montenegro in September, and his pace and flair caused England plenty of problems in the 1-0 defeat at Wembley four days later.

"Those performances have given a lot of confidence, and if we stick together as a team and keep working hard then we can definitely achieve something," added Bale, who has won 30 caps.

"Hopefully we can get more fans on our side and come to the matches."

Bale's award completes a hat-trick of personal achievements for the Cardiff-born player, having won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year and the Professional Footballers' Association Players of the Year awards over the last 10 months.

Also honoured at the FAW awards dinner in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff on Tuesday were:

  • Mickey Thomas (Former Manchester United, Wrexham & Wales) - FAW Service Award
  • Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) - Fans Player of the Season
  • Gary Lloyd (Llanelli FC) - Welsh Premier League
  • Karen Jones MBE (Former Cardiff City & Wales Ladies) - FAW Service Award
  • Jessica Fishlock (Bristol Academy) - FAW Women's Player of the Year
  • Nia Jones (Cardiff City Ladies) - FAW Women's Young Player of the Year
  • Amie Lea (Cardiff City Ladies) - FAW Women's Club Player of the Year