The npower Young Player of the Year Award is presented to the best player in The Football League under the age of 21, or playing in the season in which he turned 21.
Lewis Dunk - Brighton & Hove Albion
Spotted by Seagulls manager Gus Poyet whilst captaining the club's youth team, Lewis was offered his first professional contract in April 2010. And he didn't have to wait long for a call up, with his debut coming the very next day away at Milton Keynes Dons in the penultimate fixture of the 2009/10 season. Since then, the defender has gone on to be a regular in the first team, and in November was selected for the England U21 squad ahead of their European Championship qualifiers against Iceland and Belgium.
Matt Phillips - Blackpool
A previous winner of the League 2 Apprentice of the Year category at the Football League Awards, Matt signed from Wycombe Wanderers in 2010, scoring for the Seasiders on his debut against Blackburn Rovers. He's shown a keen eye for goal this season, boasting impressive scoring figures both during his loan spell at Sheffield United and on his return to Blackpool when he was named Football League Young Player of the Month for January. Matt has represented England at U20 level - including a call-up for the 2011 World Cup squad - and in February was named in the Scotland squad ahead of their friendly with Slovenia.
Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Place
Having come through the ranks at Selhurst Park, Wilfried was handed his full professional debut for Palace on the opening day of the 2010/11 season, bagging a goal in the 3-2 win over Leicester City. The quick, tricky winger has since gone on to cement his place in the Eagles first team, showing exceptional promise including his man-of-the-match display in the club's historic Carling Cup quarter-final win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. His eye catching performances have since earned his first call-up to the England U21 squad.
Award Sponsor: npower
We're delighted to be sponsoring the npower "Young Player of the Year" award. Empowering youngsters from an early age is really important to us - it's one reason we sponsor the npower Kids and npower Girls Cup which encourages competitiveness and gives young players the chance to play in a final at Wembley.