Swedish striker Ola Toivonen and American sharp-shooter Veronica Latsko have claimed the PFA Player of the Month awards for December.

With 10 goals between them, the prolific pair earned the most votes of their colleagues, edging out competition from three direct opponents following impressive form across the W-League and A-League competitions last month.

Initially selected alongside a shortlist of players by the PFA nominations committee, which consists of a range of former footballers, coaches and Australian football media personalities, the duo received the highest number of votes from their peers.

Latsko, United’s 23-year-old American star, scored six times during a purple patch in December, including doubles against Perth Glory and Sydney FC and crucial strikes in Adelaide’s 3-2 wins over Victory and the Newcastle Jets.

With her tally last month, the Pennsylvania-born forward is now in touching distance of established W-League star Sam Kerr (10) in the Golden Boot race with eight goals.

On loan from Houston Dash – where she scored four goals in 21 matches last season after being recruited through the US College draft system – Latskosaid her form was directly attributable to the effort of her teammates.

“I’m delighted and honoured to win this award. I’ve been really happy to contribute with goals and assists so far this season, but this award is recognition of our entire team’s hard work and dedication.

“I’d like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, and football staff for helping me achieve this, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help.  Our team performances and desire to be successful have driven us all this far, but we’re not done yet. 

“With just three rounds to go, we’re hopeful we can continue our momentum all the way into finals and beyond.”

Latskoearned the highest percentage of votes of December’s nominees, which included Victory’s Christine Nairnand Perth duo Kerrand Rachel Hill.

In the A-League, Toivonen was voted by his peers ahead of teammate Terry Antonis, Wellington Phoenix’s Sarpreet Singh and Perth’s Chris Ikonomidis.

The 32-year-old, 191cm forward, who arrived at Melbourne Victory after representing Sweden at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, made a considerable impact during Victory’s unbeaten December. 

After his introduction to the A-League was protracted due to injury, the former PSV Eindhoven, Rennes, Toulouse and Sunderland striker bagged half his season tally in just five games last month.

His four strikes included two sublime ‘Goals of the Round’ against Adelaide and Brisbane, crucial finishes in the Christmas Melbourne Derby and against Wellington Phoenix in Victory’s last match of 2018. Toivonen’s deft touches and link-up play has been equally impressive.

Commenting on the PFA award – the third captured by a Victory player this season – Toivonen said the award was humbling.

“It always means a lot to be recognised by the players and your opponents. I was pleased for the team in December; we all worked hard and there were a lot of great players in our team that could have easily been voted or won this award.

I have been impressed with the skill of the players I play with and would like to thank everyone who voted for me.”

The PFA Player of the Month award recognises the on-field efforts of the players in Australia’s domestic competitions and was established in 2014.

Following the format of the PFA Player of the Year and Harry Kewell Medal voting, A-League players are asked to vote in a 3-2-1 basis from a shortlist of nominees chosen by an awards committee at the end of each month.

The PFA A-League Player of the Month is proudly supported by PFA Major Corporate Partner LUCRF Super. 

2018/19 PFA Player of the Month Recipients:

  • October/November 2018:Natasha Dowie (Melbourne Victory), Keisuke Honda (Melbourne Victory)
  • December 2018: Ola Toivonen (Melbourne Victory), Veronica Latsko (Adelaide United)