2016 Celebration of Football: The Story behind the Awards
Sergio Melta Medal - PlayStation 4 NPL SA Player of the Year
The final Medal awarded on the night is named after Sergio Melta, who made 445 appearances in South Australian football all for the one Club, Adelaide City. He appeared once for the Socceroos in 1986 and won the NSL Player of the Year in 1984. Having won three NSL Titles and two NSL Cups with the Black and Whites - Sergio has begun coaching in recent years with West Torrens Birkalla, Adelaide United, White City before returning to his beloved Adelaide City where he is now Technical Director.
Martyn Crook Award - PlayStation 4 NPL SA Coach of the Year
Martyn Crook migrated to Australia from England in 1964 before beginning his junior playing career at Para Hills. He represented West Adelaide on 192 occasions and Para Hills Knights before finishing his Club career at Croydon in 1994. Martyn was between the sticks for Australia on 14 occasions between 1979 - 1983 and coached the Australian Joeys in 2007 and 2008 before passing tragically aged 52. The Martyn Crook Foundation was established in 2009 to assist young footballers in Australia find their full potential regardless of race, gender or financial standing.
Peter Nikolich Trophy - PlayStation 4 NPL SA Goalkeeper of the Year
Peter Nikolich migrated to Australia in 1949 from Yugoslavia and contributed to the sport in South Australia as a Player, Manager and Administrator. Peter is also a Life Member of the South Australia Soccer Federation and Australian Soccer Federation as well as a Member of Soccer Australia's Hall of Fame. As an Administrator, Peter held positions of Chairman, General Secretary and Executive Member of SASF.
John Aloisi Rising Star - PlayStation 4 Pathway Player of the Year
The scorer of "that penalty" which sent Australia to the FIFA World Cup in Germany 2006, John was born in Adelaide and began his career at Adelaide City before moving abroad to Europe in 1992. He advanced through the Australia's youth ranks to make 55 appearances for the Socceroos, scoring the sealer in Kaiserslautern against Japan. He's now coaching Brisbane Roar after beginning his post-playing career with Melbourne Heart.
Bob Telfer Medal - State League One Player of the Year
Robert Telfer held many positions in football in South Australia, whether it be as a Player, Coach, Referee, Administrator, Writer or Editor. Before being on the committee for International Selectors as well as the Olympic Games Football Committee for the 1956 Melbourne Games, Bob was the Secretary, Chairman and President of the SASFA. He also officiated and competed internationally as a Player, Referee and Manager.
Milan Ivanovic Golden Boot - State League One Leading Goalscorer
Milan Ivanovic established himself as a professional footballer in Serbia with Red Star Belgrade having debuted aged 17. Having moved to Australia, the sweeper enjoyed a 12-year stint at Adelaide City where he featured on 290 occasions, as well as earning 59 caps for the National Team. He was apart of two NSL titles with City having won the Johnny Warren Medal in the 1990-91 Season as well as the Joe Marston Medal for the best player afield in the 1992-93 Grand Final. Milan was inducted to Australia's Team of the Century in 200.
Les Avery Award - State League One Goalkeeper of the Year
Les is a past player and also a former Chairman of the South Australian Soccer Federation and Acting Chairman of Soccer Australia.
Shirley Brown Medal - PlayStation 4 WNPL SA Player of the Year
This medal is named after one of the most prominent people to have contributed to the growth of football for girls and women both locally and nationally. Shirley contributed to sport as a Player, Coach and Adminirstrator, was President of the South Australian Women's Soccer Association for 10 years, President of the Australian Women's Soccer Association and she is also a Member of the South Australian Hall of Fame.
Bob Bush Medal - PlayStation 4 WNPL SA Coach of the Year
The late Bob Bush passed away aged 94 in September of 2013, has a long list of achievements. Aside founding Salisbury United in 1954, Mr Bush began the first women's soccer league in 1978 before being the first Chief Executive of the SA Women's Soccer Association. He was honoured for his contribution to developing the sport in South Australia following inducting to the Football Federation's inaugural Hall of Fame in 2003.
Ann Sergeant Medal - Women's State League Player of the Year
This Medal is named after Life Member of the South Australian Women's Soccer Association, Ann Sergeant. Ann was inducted along with Shirley Brown, Truffy Maginnis and Kath Welsh as the inaugural Life Members of the Association in 1994. This achievement followed work Ann had undertaken on the SAWSA Committee.
Mick O'Malley Young Referee of the Year
Mick O'Malley's contribution to South Australian football came as a Player, Referee and Administrator. Mick was rewarded with a Meritorious Service Award in 1995 before being inducted to the South Australian Hall of Fame in 2004, Mick is also a Life Member of the SA Referees Association and refereed the 1979 Australian Cup Final. He represented the State and Nation as a Player and Referee having being appointed by FIFA. Domestically, Mick competed for Port Adelaide, Portsmouth-Plympton and Birkalla Rovers SC.
Mike Ingham Referee of the Year
Mike officiated in the former National Soccer League competition and was twice a winner of the Referee of the Year in 1993 and 1994.
The 2016 Celebration of Football will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre this Saturday, October 15.
Keep your eyes peeled for coverage throughout the night!
Photo of Sergio Melta by Joe Janko