Steve Hayes crowned NSW Premier League’s best at 2011 Gold Medal Dinner



2011 Gold Medal Winner was Sydney United's Steve Hayes (Photos by Gavin Leung)

The 2011 Gold Medal Dinner was held at Lily’s Function Centre, Blacktown on Saturday evening in what was a lavish affair for the NSW Premier League and NSW’s top tier competition.

A number of players and officials from the NSW Premier League were present on the evening as well as special guests such as FFA’s John Boultbee along with Football NSW Chairman Robert Sestan, Football NSW Directors Mark Reading, Stephen Hayes and Greg O’Rourke and Football NSW CEO Eddie Moore.

The talk of the evening was on who would be crowned the 2011 Gold Medal winner replacing last season’s award winner, Blacktown City FC’s Tolgay Ozbey.

The evening started with the “Fair Play” award as the Rockdale City Suns scooped up the night’s first silverware in what was a tough season for the club.

The Under 20’s Golden Boot award was up next and Marconi Stallions’ talented young attacker Marco Sama took this out after scoring 17 goals for the year as he reaffirmed his position as one of the deadliest up and coming strikers in the business.

The Golden Boot award was the next award which followed and Sydney United’s 26-year-old red-hot striker Luka Glavas took out the plaudits after he scored 13 goals in 22 matches.

Glavas was certainly one of the key men in the Reds’ NSW Premier League season which saw them finish second and grand-finalists to Sydney Olympic in what was a good year for the former Hyundai A-League marksman.

“I am delighted to have received this award but it wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the players around me as well as our coaching staff.

“The club worked hard both on and off the pitch in getting to where we got today, yes we are disappointed at missing out on a Grand Final victory but all the players can hold their heads up high as we had a pretty good year.

“Obviously winning any individual award is a huge honour and I hope to do the same again in 2012.”

The Media Award was up next and the ‘Football Sack’ scooped this for their fantastic coverage of the competition while the Maltese Herald were awarded the Foreign Language Media Award from Football NSW Media Manager Mark Stavroulakis.

The Football Sack is a voluntary website that aims to combine quality reporting with irreverence and humour - using social media and the internet to build and improve upon the coverage of the Hyundai A-league and football in Australia especially in this case promoting the NSW Premier League which they have done remarkably throughout season 2011.

The Sack plays host to a growing number of writers from across Australia and New Zealand. One of their primary objectives is to increase exposure for young journalists and allow them to grow their sports writing portfolio.

Along with news articles, match reports and other written content, The Sack also features a highly popular podcast iTunes, a thriving Twitter account, and a growing number of videos on Youtube.

Editor Matthew Greenlaw and Twitter coordinator Pete Nowakowski especially have been the driving force behind the Football Sack’s commitment towards the NSW Premier League and we look forward to seeing them at our venues in 2012.

Meanwhile, the ‘Maltese Herald’ played a pivotal role in promoting the NSW Premier League in season 2011 for its brilliant coverage on the competition.

With its rich Maltese roots, Parramatta FC were highlighted daily but the entire competition received great coverage in what was a superb season from this ethnic newspaper.

Editor Lino Vella along with Rita Kassas were instrumental in drumming the support through and we hope the same will continue in 2012.

A number of other media publications were thanked during the evening such as the Manly Daily, Blacktown Advocate, Fairfield Champion, St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, Canterbury Bankstown Express, Inner West Courier, O Kosmos, The Croatian Herald, La Fiamma, Vesti, Goal Weekly, Soccer International and 442.

Sutherland Sharks was then presented the Club Championship Award as the club excelled as an entire group for season 2011 as they finished up with 327 points while Sydney Olympic finished second with 323 and Blacktown City FC third with 305.

The Club Championship is based on a points system from the efforts of the Grade 18, 20 and First Grade teams which are then combined and tallied at the end of the year.

In a first for Football NSW, ‘Goal of the Year’ award was introduced for season 2011 as ten quality goals were packaged and put together where fans were able to vote for their best on the NSW Premier League’s official Facebook page which currently boasts sixteen hundred plus members.

Sydney Olympic’s Chris Triantis came up trumps as his superb volley from a Paul Henderson assist against Bankstown City in round 7 saw him win the inaugural ‘Goal of the Year’ award beating off the likes of Rockdale City Suns’ Adem Kir and Sutherland Sharks’ Todd Halloran.

Referees played a huge role in the NSW Premier League this season and it was fitting that well known whistleblower Alex Glasgow picked up the Referee of the Year award.

It has been a remarkable year for Glasgow who has been seen as one of the most experienced referees officiating in the NSW Premier League and has conducted many important games this year including the 2011 NSW Premier League Grand Final.

The Goalkeeper of the Year Award was up next and it was South Coast Wolves’ number one man under the posts Brody Crane that took out this prestigious honour.

The talented 25-year-old custodian spent a solid season with the Wollongong based club as he made a number of majestic appearances for Trevor Morgan’s side.

The Coach of the Year award was up next and Sydney Olympic’s Peter Tsekenis was rewarded for what was a big year for the club having won both the Premiership and Championship for 2011.

The 38-year-old who retired from the game at the start of the year and joined the Blues from Bankstown City had a lot of success and added more silverware to the club’s cabinet with his coaching award in what was a sterling year for the former NSL giants.

“I along with ‘Flea’ set out our objectives with the players at the start of the season and we came away with both the Premiership and Championship which was fantastic – I couldn’t have asked for a better year.

“We do this because we love it and I know we had a lot of fun guiding the team this year.

“Again this award goes out to the players and the management that made this possible as well and made our season such a success.”

Running for the fourth year in a row for Football NSW, an All Stars team was picked which showcased the best 11 players that took part in the NSW Premier League in 2011.

Based on a points system which all official Football NSW journalists took part in during the course of the 22 rounds, eleven players were selected in various positions highlighting their fantastic performances for season 2011.

Each player and coach were awarded a special jersey with their name and number thanks to Football NSW’s official apparel partner hummel.

The 2011 Football NSW All Stars team was as follows:

1. Brody Crane (South Coast Wolves)
2. Chris Tadrosse (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
3. Michael Cindric (Sydney United)
4. Brett Studman (Sydney Olympic)
5. Travis Major (Blacktown City FC)
6. Nick Stavroulakis (Sutherland Sharks)
7. Steven Hayes (Sydney United)
8. Nahuel Arrarte (Marconi Stallions)
9. Alex Smith (Sydney Olympic)
10. Chris Triantis (Sydney Olympic)
11. Luka Glavas  (Sydney United)
Coach: Peter Tsekenis (Sydney Olympic)

The time had come to select the Grade 20 Player of the Year and after calculating all the points it went down to the wire with two joint winners, Marconi Stallions’ Marco Sama and Sutherland Sharks’ Klim Gjorseski took out the honours.

Both Sama and Gjorseski put on amazing displays for their respective clubs which saw them pip the likes of Bruno Pivato, William Mellor, Milan Atlagic and Luke Grima for the coveted award.

The final points tally for the Grade 20 Player of the Year ended like this (Top Five):

Marco Sama (Marconi Stallions) 17
Klim Gjorseski (Sutherland Sharks) 17
Bruno Pivato (Blacktown City FC) 14
William Mellor (Manly United) 14
Milan Atlagic (Rockdale City) 13

The stage was set for the final award of the evening and that was the prestigious Gold Medal for 2011.

After 22 rounds the Gold Medal was presented to Sydney United’s Canberra born 26-year-old inspirational midfielder Steve Hayes who won by a whopping 19 points from his nearest rival Blacktown City FC skipper Luke Roodenburg – this statistic alone was one of the most comprehensive displays ever seen at Gold Medal awards evening.

Hayes was simply outstanding for Sydney United as he certainly stamped his authority as being one of the most talented players ever to play football in the NSW Premier League after an outstanding 2011 season.

His ball distribution and the ability to switch on the engines for ninety plus minutes combined with his defending and attacking skills has seen him rise amongst one of the most sought after players in the competition.

"I am honoured to have won this award in what was a good year for the club.

“I’m glad that I managed to stay injury free and spent more time on the pitch this season I feel like I definitely improved.

“I was upset though that we didn’t win the Grand Final against Sydney Olympic in what was a great match played in front of a brilliant crowd but we’ll be there next year and we hope to go one better in taking it out for the club and its supporters.”

Hayes stated that he was loving his football and wanted to keep the momentum going right through till next season.

“I am really enjoying my football – it’s now really living the moment and hoping to further develop as a footballer and seeing where it takes me.”

The final points tally for the Gold Medal ended like this (Top Ten):

Steven Hayes (Sydney United) 38
Luke Roodenburg (Blacktown City) 19
Alex Smith (Sydney Olympic) 18
Matthew Bailey (Sutherland Sharks) 16
Nicola Rizzo (APIA Leichhardt Tigers) 15
Brad Boardman (Sutherland Sharks) 14
Nahuel Arrarte (Marconi Stallions) 14
Mitchell Long (Blacktown City FC) 12
Gosue Sama (Marconi Stallions) 12
Nathan Elasi (Bonnyrigg White Eagles) 11
Robbie Cattanach (Manly United) 11
Andrew Mailer (Marconi Stallions) 11
Saso Petrovski (South Coast Wolves) 11

2011 Gold Medal Dinner Award Winners List
Fair Play –
Rockdale City Suns
Golden Boot Grade 20s –
Marco Sama
Golden Boot 1st Grade –
Luka Glavas
Media Award –
The Football Sack
Foreign Language Media Award –
The Maltese Herald
Club Championship –
Sutherland Sharks
Referee of the Year Award –
Alex Glasgow
Goalkeeper of the Year Award –
Brody Crane (South Coast Wolves)
Coach of the Year –
Peter Tsekenis (Sydney Olympic)
Grade 20 Player of the Year –
Marco Sama (Marconi Stallions) & Klim Gjorseski (Sutherland Sharks)
Gold Medal –
Steve Hayes (Sydney United)

Previous Gold Medal Winners
2000/2001 – Steve Lazzari (Belconnen Blue Devils)
2001/2002 – Daniel Macor (Belconnen Blue Devils)
2002/2003 – James Monie (Central Coast Coasties)
2003/2004 – Ilija Prenzoski (Belconnen Blue Devils)
2004/2005 – Robbie Cattanach (Belconnen Blue Devils)
2006 – Tolgay Ozbey (Blacktown City Demons)
2007 – Robbie Cattanach (Manly United)
2008 – Brendan Gan (Sutherland Sharks)
2009 – Bradley Boardman (Sutherland Sharks)
2010 – Tolgay Ozbey (Blacktown City FC)

Previous Grade 20 Player of the Year Winners
2000/2001 – Marc Falzon (Central Coast Coasties), Matias Gulle (Canterbury Marrickville) & Carlo Musumeci (Sutherland Shire)
2001/2002 – Phillip Badolato (Fairfield Bulls)
2002/2003 – Milorad Simonovic (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
2003/2004 – Ben Gough (Parramatta Eagles)
2004/2005 – Adam D’Apuzzo (Marconi Stallions)
2006 – Ken Chun (Marconi Stallions)
2007 – Chris Bedzo (Blacktown City Demons) & Glen Trifiro (Marconi Stallions)
2008 – Daniel Rezo (Sydney United)
2009 – Steven Veleski (Sydney United)
2010 – Steven Veleski (Sydney United)

Previous Goalkeeper of the Year Winners
2000/2001 – Darren Moore (Central Coast Coasties)
2001/2002 – Jason Holmes (Parramatta Eagles)
2002/2003 – John Crawley (Blacktown City Demons)
2003/2004 – John Crawley (Blacktown City Demons)
2004/2005 – Clint Bolton (A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers)
2006 – Ivan Necevski (Blacktown City Demons)
2007 – Matthew Nash (A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers)
2008 – Matthew Nash (A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers)
2009 – Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney United)
2010 – James Chronopoulos (Marconi Stallions)

Previous Coach of the Year Winners
2000/2001 – Brian Brown (Blacktown City Demons)
2001/2002 – Tam Finlayson (Parramatta Eagles)
2002/2003 – Brian Brown (Blacktown City Demons)
2003/2004 – Chris Tanzey (Belconnen Blue Devils)
2004/2005 – Chris Tanzey (Belconnen Blue Devils)
2006 – Aytek Genc (Blacktown City Demons)
2007 – Aytek Genc (Blacktown City Demons)
2008 – Brian Brown (Sutherland Sharks)
2009 – Ante Milicic (Sydney United)
2010 – Brian Brown (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)

Previous Leading Goalscorer Winners
2000/2001 – Steve Lazzari (Belconnen Blue Devils) & Darren Iocca (Fairfield Bulls)
2001/2002 – Jim Aschner (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
2002/2003 – James Monie (Central Coast Coasties)
2003/2004 – Matthew Borg (Bankstown City Lions)
2004/2005 – Adam Kwasnik (Blacktown City Demons)
2006 – Tolgay Ozbey (Blacktown City Demons)
2007 – Tolgay Ozbey (Blacktown City Demons)
2008 – Robert Younis (A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers)
2009 – Matthew Mayora (Sydney Olympic)
2010 - Tolgay Ozbey (Blacktown City FC)

Previous Referee of the Year Winners
2000/2001 – Greg Leverton
2001/2002 – Nick Asargiotis
2002/2003 – Greg Leverton
2003/2004 – Jonathan Streater
2004/2005 – Srbere Delovski
2006 – Peter Vrtkovski
2007 – Srbere Delovski
2008 – Jonathan Streater
2009 – Peter Vrtkovski
2010 – Kris Griffiths-Jones

Previous 1st Grade Premiers
2000/2001 – Blacktown City Demons
2001/2002 – Parramatta Eagles
2002/2003 – Blacktown City Demons
2003/2004 – Belconnen Blue Devils
2004/2005 – Blacktown City Demons
2006 – Blacktown City Demons
2007 – Blacktown City Demons
2008 – Sutherland Sharks
2009 – Sydney United
2010 – Bonnyrigg White Eagles

Previous 1st Grade Champions
2000/2001 – Bonnyrigg White Eagles
2001/2002 – Parramatta Eagles
2002/2003 – A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers
2003/2004 – Bankstown City Lions
2004/2005 – Bankstown City Lions
2006 – Sydney United
2007 – Blacktown City Demons
2008 – Wollongong FC
2009 – Sutherland Sharks
2010 – Blacktown City FC

-By Mark Stavroulakis

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