There was a shock at the Dolan Warren awards on Wednesday night as the A-League’s biggest award, the Johnny Warren medal, was given to Diego Castro, surprising many. Going in to the night, the raging favourite to win the award was Bruno Fornaroli of Melbourne City but the Perth man won the award in a revamped voting system.
The Johnny Warren voting system used to be based on just a players vote as at the end of the season each player selected their choices for the award. Now the current players get no say in the award with each match being voted on from members of different panel. There was one representative from each panel, a former player, a member of the FFA technical staff (eg. Socceroos coaching staff), the match officials and a senior member of Australian football media.
Diego Costa won the award by one point, beating a Melbourne City man in second place, but it was Aaron Mooy, not Fornaroli in second place. Fornaroli came in third, level with his team mate, Jamie Maclaren making it three Melbourne City players in the top four.
On the W-League side, their top award was claimed by Canberra United’s Ashleigh Sykes claiming the Julie Dolan medal. The award on the National Youth League side went to Dylan Smith of Adelaide United, making all three major awards to three different teams.
After an impressive season, Jamie Maclaren won the A-League Young Footballer of the Year and for the first ever time there was a W-League Young Footballer of the Year award. That award had an unsurprising winner, as Larissa Crummer claimed it after her season with Melbourne City.
The golden boot winners finally received their awards, giving Fornaroli his award after a record 23 goals in the A-League. The W-League award was also handed out to a Melbourne City player, Larissa Crummer managing 11 while in the National Youth League Joseph Katebian managed 10 to win the award there.
The W-League player’s player award was claimed by another Melbourne City player, Kim Little who put in a stellar season. The goalkeeper awards were unsurprising with Thomas Sorensen winning the A-League version and Kaitlyn Savage claiming the W-League award.
There was some joy for Central Coast Mariners in what has been a dark year, as Roy O’Donovan won the Goal of the Year for his stunning goal against Adelaide United late in the season. For the W-League it was an early season goal, Perth Glory’s Vanessa Di Bernardo’s late goal against Brisbane Roar in Round five.
For fair play, Brisbane Roar won their fifth A-League award, a record, while Melbourne City and Newcastle Jets won the W-League and Youth league respectively. The referee awards continued to go in the usual places with Jarred Gillet winning again for the A-League and Kate Jacewicz winning her sixth W-League title.