Melbourne Victory internationals Natasha Dowie and Keisuke Honda have been rewarded by their peers for fast starts to the season, named as PFA players of the month.
English striker Dowie, 30, scored four times in November to help Victory to the top of the W-League table after six rounds.
She was voted the league’s best player ahead of Matildas Sam Kerr, of Perth Glory, and teammates Emily Gielnik and Laura Alleway.
Dowie said she felt a special connection among her Victory teammates which had propelled them up the table.
“We’re really a close unit this year which has got us through a lot of the games,” she told AAP.
“I’ve fallen in love with the club and that’s why I came back for a fourth year.
“We’ve all come together. We’ve all got personal goals and collective goals. With the World Cup next year, everyone’s got their eye on that and wanting to do well.
“The amount of hard work we’ve done behind the scenes, it’s just clicked and hopefully it continues.”
Keisuke Honda has made a lightning start to life in the A-League.Honda, 32, has taken the league by storm in his first A-League outings but was shocked when Professional Footballers Australia representative Simon Colosimo visited his club to make the announcement.
“I’m surprised,” Honda said. “I’m happy to receive the award but I am happy more when we win as a team. I appreciate the award and I received it because of my teammates.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me.”
Honda won ahead of FFA Cup sensation Craig Goodwin and Perth Glory flyer Chris Ikonomidis.