FC Twente forward Eljero Elia has been named the Netherlands' Young Player of the Year, succeeding AFC Ajax's Miralem Sulejmani.
The versatile 22-year-old attacker was chosen by an illustrious panel of judges headed by Johan Cruyff and also featuring Marco van Basten, Phillip Cocu, Wim Jonk, Bert van Marwijk and John van 't Schip. "I'm delighted with the award and proud that the coaches picked me," said former ADO Den Haag player Elia. "I've received this award thanks to my team-mates. At Twente I've developed as a player and this proves I'm on the right track."
A scorer of nine goals in 34 league games this term, the Dutch Under-21 international helped Twente finish runners-up in the Eredivisie, securing entry to the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Elia, who joined the Enschede club from Den Haag in summer 2007, will be presented with the Johan Cruyff award at a gala on 31 August.
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