The Star’s Sky Terrance was dripping in footballer finesse on 1st March as soccer players are swapping their team jerseys for jewels, their soccer boots for stellar high heels and patent leather shoes for the Dolan Warren Awards. Taken from two Australia‘s most respected Australian soccer legends; Julie Dolan and Johnny Warren, the Dolan Warren awards recognised the esteemed efforts in Australian soccer sportsmanship in both women and men. All of Australia’s soccer royalty were there including, Tim Cahill, Alex Brusque, Tara Rushton, Adam Peacock, Michelle Heyman, Kyah Simon, Nicole de Silva, Ben Mingay, Kat Hoyos, Tyler De Nawi who are all from Westfield Matildas, Caltex Socceroos, Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League, respectively.
I resided in the bleachers of the paparazzi, where the main focus was capturing the innate finesse and suaveness of the men’s A-League stars and women’s W-League stars, queue up on the red carpet in the orderly fashion. If I were to explain soccer division to you, it would go something like this, Australia has a national men and women’s team which are the Socceroos and Matildas, respectively. Both teams can participate in the FIFA World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup. As for the W-league and the A-league, there Women’s and Men’s football clubs which play against each across Australia and New Zealand. Well, known Australian teams are the Sydney FC, the Western Sydney Wanderers, Perth Glory and Melbourne City FC, etc.
In the midst of it all, a dapper-looking boy in a sharp suit, standing on the box, with a microphone in one hand, interviewing the players. I recognised him as Yoshi, the current face of the A-league’s “You got a team” campaign. He is the energetic driving force to encourage many younger Australians like himself to be involved or support overseas football clubs and express their passion for soccer in general.
Like the coaches, the referees and other significant soccer figures reel through the flashing lights of the media; it was not until the clock struck 6:30, the award ceremony started. Once again, the media scurried into a newsroom-esque room with the live broadcasting on each side of the podium. The awards ceremony was surprisingly short as it only goes for 1 hour. A notable highlight was awarding Milos Ninkovic the first Sydney FC to score Johnny Warren Medal, while Sam Kerr was awarded the Julie Dolan Medal, which recognises the player of the season. Ninkovic came through seven votes, beating Perth glory, Diego Castro, whereas Sam Kerr from the Perth Glory won a landslide of 23 votes in total, beating Katrina Gorry who play for the Matildas.
Other worthy award mentions include Graham Arnold who won the Coach of the Year, Jamie Maclaren who was named the A-League’s young footballer, Remy Siemens for the W-League’s and Tim Cahill scored the Goal of the Year for his 35-metre strike in the game against the Melbourne Victory.
Congratulations to all the recipients of the Dolan Warren Awards, even though I’m not a hardcore soccer fan, the high level of good sportsmanship was displayed in its glory. Truly a humbling experience.