FFV Gold Medal Night 2015 Wrap

All the winners from Victorian football's night of nights.

By Mark Gojszyk

Kamal Ibrahim and Amy Jackson have won the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Gold Medal and Sportsmart Women's Premier League (WPL) Gold Medal awards respectively, while Matteo Ballan was crowned the PS4 NPL 1 Best and Fairest at the FFV Gold Medal Night 2015 awards ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Friday night.

Boroondara Eagles midfielder Jackson swept all awards before her, also claiming the Sportsmart Women’s Premier League Player’s Player, Golden Boot and Bill Fleming awards, adding to her Sportsmart WPL Premiership and Team App Cup triumphs this season.

Jackson’s coach, Shaun Ontong, was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.

South Melbourne’s Milos Lujic claimed a third consecutive Golden Boot award, while Melbourne Victory’s Joseph Katebian was the PS4 NPL 1 top-scorer for the second year running.

Football Federation Victoria congratulates the award winners, along with all players, for another successful season of football in Victoria.

PS4 NPL

PS4 NPL Gold Medal – Kamal Ibrahim (Port Melbourne)

Voted by referees

It’s been exactly two decades since a Port Melbourne player won the Gold Medal, with George Zvigos triumphing in 1995.

Ibrahim was the standout player at JL Murphy Reserve this year, helping the Sharks to a respectable mid-table position with eight goals from attacking midfield.

He only missed one league game all season, with his blistering start earning the first Player of the Month award.

PS4 NPL Gold Medal leaderboard:

30- Kamal Ibrahim (Port Melbourne Sharks)
28- Nicholas Hegarty (Hume City)
25- Davey Van't Schip (Pascoe Vale)
20- Matthew Thurtell (Bentleigh Greens)
19- Matthew Townley (North Geelong Warriors), Daniel Heffernan (Heidelberg United)*
18- Marino Gasparis (Northcote City)*
17- Michael Ferrante (Pascoe Vale)*, Robert Zadworny (Melbourne Knights), Christopher Lucas (Bentleigh Greens)

* - ineligible due to suspension

PS4 NPL Players’ Player of the Year – Nick Epifano (South Melbourne)

Voted as the winner by his peers, the 21-year-old was at his creative best this season, terrorising opposition defences from the wing.

Epifano developed a knack of scoring crucial late goals for South Melbourne, especially in Cup competitions, while also netting eight times during the home-and-away season.

PS4 NPL Golden Boot – Milos Lujic (South Melbourne)

It’s a hat-trick of Golden Boots for Milos Lujic, who backs up his hauls of 18 in 2013, and 22 in 2014, with 21 goals in 2015.

The striker helped South Melbourne to a top-of-the-table finish, and also scored in the losing Grand Final to Bentleigh Greens.

PS4 NPL Coach of the Year Vitale Ferrante (Pascoe Vale)

Voted by NPL coaches

Despite a slow start to the season, Pascoe Vale emerged as the dark horses of the 2015 season under Vitale Ferrante, finishing fifth on the ladder to secure a maiden finals berth.

After defeating Heidelberg United in the qualifying final, the club was minutes away from a Grand Final appearance before being pipped by South Melbourne.

Ferrante and his players won plenty of admirers throughout the season for their attractive style of play, and willingness to tackle the league’s heavyweights head on.

PS4 NPL Rising Star – Jake Halliday (Pascoe Vale)

U20 player to receive most votes from referees

Signed by Pascoe Vale with little fanfare from South Australia, Halliday announced himself on the Victorian football scene with his performances at left-back, a position that seldom receives recognition.

He developed a reputation for combining his no-nonsense defending with an eye for getting forward and assisting the Pascoe Vale attack.

PS4 NPL Goalkeeper of the Year – Chris May (Melbourne Knights)

May was at times unbeatable this season, making crucial reflex saves to preserve vital points in Melbourne Knights’ charge to a top-four position.

He most notably made two consecutive extra-time penalty saves in a week to salvage a draw against Bentleigh Greens, and secure a famous derby victory over South Melbourne.

PS4 NPL 1

PS4 NPL 1 Best and Fairest – Matteo Ballan (Bulleen Lions)

Voted by referees

The 26-year-old Italian import with experience in New Zealand’s ASB championship showed all his determination and flair during Bulleen Lions’ PS4 NPL 1 West winning run.

The fiery midfielder was a fulcrum of his side’s charge to promotion, leading by example from the centre of the park and adding four goals to the cause.

PS4 NPL 1 Best and Fairest leaderboard:

41- Matteo Ballan (FC Bulleen Lions)
28- Thomas Cahill (Richmond)
26- Sean McIlroy (Kingston City), Joseph Katebian (Melbourne Victory)*
24- Philip Ajao (Eastern Lions), Munyaradzi Nyadzayo (Eastern Lions)
23- Corey Thomas (Moreland City)*, Trent Waterson (St Albans Saints)
22- Sean Ellis (Goulburn Valley Suns)
21- Juan Portillo (Brunswick City)

* - ineligible due to suspension

PS4 NPL 1 Players’ Player of the YearJoseph Katebian (Melbourne Victory)

Voted by NPL 1 players

The prodigiously talented forward showed all the signs of a player with a bright future ahead of him.

He combined his talent with maturity this campaign, leading both the line and the team at times, donning the armband on occasion.

It was no surprise that Victory struggled without him in the squad, and that his peers voted him as the league’s best player.

PS4 NPL 1 Golden Boot – Joseph Katebian (Melbourne Victory)

This is Katebian’s second consecutive PS4 NPL 1 Golden Boot, trumping his haul of 26 in 2014 for Bulleen Lions by seven goals.

One scoring streak between Rounds 15 and 20 saw the 19-year-old score 15 times in just five matches.

Katebian’s form has earned him a train-on spot with Victory’s senior squad on a number of occasions, including a Westfield FFA Cup appearance against Rockdale City Suns.

PS4 NPL 1 Coach of the Year – James Robinson (Ballarat Red Devils)

Voted by NPL 1 coaches

After suffering the heartbreak of relegation last year, James Robinson and Ballarat set about making amends this season, going on a run that saw Ballarat just miss out on second spot and a playoff position.

The popular Robinson showed great dedication, loyalty and hard work to start over and guide the club just short of promotion on first attempt.

PS4 NPL 1 Rising Star – Luka Prelevic (Melbourne City)

U20 player to receive most votes from referees

Tall and technical are some of the keywords associated with Melbourne City’s New Zealand youth international, who combined his midfield presence with an eye for goal throughout the NPL 1 campaign.

Prelevic scored eight times this campaign and put in a number of dazzling displays in the middle of the park to keep him on the radar of City’s A-League coaching staff.

PS4 NPL 1 Goalkeeper of the Year – Aaron Romein (Ballarat Red Devils)

Voted by NPL 1 coaches

With regular displays of heroics in goals by pulling off top-shelf saves when it really counted, Romein was a big part of Ballarat’s push for promotion in 2015.

While the club fell just short, the custodian was duly recognised for his efforts between the sticks this season.

Sportsmart WPL

Sportsmart WPL Gold Medal – Amy Jackson (Boroondara Eagles)

Voted by referees

It has been a whirlwind year for Jackson, backing up a 2014 Player of the Year achievement at Melbourne Victory W-League with the Sportsmart WPL Gold Medal.

She pulled the strings in midfield to help her side to a Team App Cup triumph, a WPL premiership and a Grand Final berth to be played next week.

Sportsmart WPL leaderboard:

22- Amy Jackson (Boroondara Eagles)
19- Beatrice Goad (FC Bulleen Lions)
18- Julia Nicolaci (Heidelberg United), Gulcan Koca (Bundoora United)
17- Sarah Jacobs (Boroondara Eagles), Emma Checker (Ashburton United), Tiffany Eliadis (South Melbourne)*
15- Rachel Alonso (Bundoora United), Melissa Taranto (NTC Girls), Georgia Koutrouvelis (Box Hill United)

* - ineligible due to suspension

Sportsmart WPL Players’ Player of the Year – Amy Jackson (Boroondara Eagles)

Voted by Sportsmart WPL players

Sportsmart WPL Golden Boot – Amy Jackson (Boroondara Eagles)

Jackson’s ratio of over a goal per game was made all the more impressive considering the feat was achieved from central midfield, where she’d often help her team at the back before marauding forward to score bags of goals.

Her highlights included a hat-trick against South Melbourne in Round 4 and a haul of five against Caulfield United Cobras in Round 13, scoring a brace or better on seven occasions.

Sportsmart WPL Coach of the Year – Shaun Ontong (Boroondara Eagles)

Voted by Sportsmart WPL coaches

The former A-League player joined Boroondara Eagles in Round 4 of the season, bursting onto the scene with a 6-2 victory over reigning champions South Melbourne.

The 28-year-old then led his team to a remarkable 22-game unbeaten streak, claiming the Team App Cup and WPL premiership in the process, with just the Grand Final remaining to complete a season treble.

Under Ontong, the Eagles scored the most WPL goals with 82 - 15 more than any other team - and conceded only 20 - four less than any other team.

Sportsmart WPL Goalkeeper of the Year – Teresa Morrissey (Senior NTC)

Voted by Sportsmart WPL coaches

The teenager showed maturity beyond her years to claim the award ahead of her more experienced counterparts.

Morrissey marshalled her back four with command, was confident in the air and off her line, and made top saves when her team was in trouble.

With that, a big future awaits the youngster.

Media Awards

Bill Fleming Award (media’s player of the year) – Amy Jackson (Boroondara Eagles)

Voted by FFV’s match reporters

Completing Jackson’s clean sweep of accolades is the Bill Fleming award, meaning Jackson has been unanimously recognised by referees, players and the media as the state’s best player in 2015.

It’s an historic achievement that may not be replicated for some time.

Les Shorrock Best Football Image – Mark Avellino

Avellino's photo is visually stimulating, while showing the tough competitive nature of the game, with expressions that show the desperation and intensity of the PS4 NPL level of competition.

Best News Article – Joe Gorman ("Former Socceroos Captain Mark Viduka will never forget his roots")

Joe's story gave an insight into a beloved figure of Victorian football, Mark Viduka, and a look ahead at the legacy he and his boyhood club Melbourne Knights will continue to leave for the game.

READ the article here

Other Awards

Male Referee of the Year - Patrick Chaplin

Chaplin wins back-to-back referee of the year awards, proving himself as one of the most consistent officials in Victoria.

Patrick began his refereeing career with the Peninsula referees branch in 2007.

His high level of performance resulted in him being appointed as the main referee for last week’s PS4 NPL grand final.

Female Referee of the Year - Danielle Anderson

Anderson is the inaugural winner of female referee of the year award and caps off a year of success.

Her high level of Sportsmart WPL performance has also seen her attend the FFA National Youth Championships where she won referee of the tournament.

Anderson also has a busy summer ahead after being appointed to the Westfield W-league assistant referees panel.

She has come a long way from when she started refereeing in Shepparton in 2007.

2015 FFV Hall of Fame inductees

Billy Vojtek

Billy Vojtek was one of the most gifted footballers of his generation.

Born in Croatia in 1943, his father brought him to Australia in 1956. Starting at Essendon juniors Billy represented Victoria at Under 13 level to Under 18s made his senior debut for Croatia (Melbourne).

In 1966 he played for Victoria against the mighty AS Roma at Olympic Park and against Greece. He turned out for Victoria 34 times in all, scoring 12 goals.

In 1967 Vojtek was part of the Australian squad that completed a ten match unbeaten Asian tour under coach Joe Vlasits.

In 1968 he was a key figure for the Croatia which finished champion and won the AmpolCup as well as the Dockerty Cup to complete an extraordinary triumph.

Then in 1970 Rale Rasic took him on the world tour, from which the nucleus of the successful 1974 team emerged.

Vojtek only missed one Socceroo game out of 31 international matches between 1967 and 1971.

An achilles tendon injury brought his top level career to an end, but he continued to play and coach. He helped Green Gully win the Ampol Cup in 1979, then had spells at Western Suburbs, St Albans Dinamo, Essendon Triestina and the youth team at Melbourne Croatia.

Vojtek was a unanimous choice in the Melbourne Knights team of the century.

John Dimtsis

John Dimtsis was born in Greece and came to Australia aged nine. He attended Northcote High School and joined the Commonwealth Bank and then moved to the State Bank of Victoria.

That took him to Alexander Soccer Club, then playing at John Street. His work with the club was recognised by the Victorian Soccer Federation and he joined their board in 1972, becoming treasurer in 1973.

In 1980 he succeeded Theo Marmaras as President of the VSF and held the position until 1991. He, along with Vito Cilauro and George Wallace, introduced the Victorian Premier League in 1991.

Dimtsis also held roles with the Australian Soccer Federation, including treasurer and chairman. Following his period at the ASF, he returned to Heidelberg. In 2014 he completed his spell as president of the club and he is a life member of the VSF and FFV.

Melissa Barbieri

Melissa Barbieri began her footballing career as a 14-year-old outfielder, playing with her brother and other boys until she found a club with a girls team.

In 2000 she made the switch to goalkeeping, playing in the men’s league with Richmond SC.

An Australian schoolgirl international as an outfielder, Barbieri was called up to represent Australia as a goalkeeper in 2002, making her debut for the Matildas against Canada.

She represented Australia in a Summer Olympics, four Women’s World Cups, and was captain of the Matildas as they won the 2010 AFC Women’;s Asian Cup, the first senior Australian team to win an Asian continental competition. Overall, Barbieri earned 86 International Caps.

She was a member of Melbourne Victory’s inaugural W-League squad, winning goalkeeper of the year in the first season of W-League.

With the birth of her daughter Holly in 2013, Barbieri took a break from playing and made her comeback with Adelaide United in the 2013/2014 season, winning the W-League goalkeeper of the year.

Her comeback was complete when she was called up to represent the Matildas in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

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