Perth’s flamboyant Spanish marquee Diego Castro and US import Vanessa DiBernardo have both received the club’s highest honour, at this year’s QBE Most Glorious Player (MGP) awards ceremony at the Novotel Perth Langley Hotel.
After being named the Johnny Warren medallist, the highest individual honour in the Hyundai A-League, Castro scooped an unprecedented five club awards at the gala event, including:
- QBE Most Glorious Player
- Golden Boot (13-goals)
- Players’ Player of the Year
- Volunteers’ Player of the Year
- QBE Supporters’ Man of the Match
It rounds out an incredible first year in the Hyundai A-League for the 33-year old winger who arrived from La Liga club Getafe 10 months ago.
“It’s been a wonderful experience for me and my family and I am truly humbled" Castro said.
"Tony Sage, the players, staff and all the members have been exceptional and very hospitable since I first arrived” he said.
"It's a season that will always be a highlight for me and an experience I will never forget".
The talented Spaniard arrived at Perth after signing for one season. Negotiations between the club and the player's management for next season are ongoing.
Meantime 23-year old DiBernardo, who top scored for Glory Women with six goals, took out the "Golden Boot" award after only arriving in mid-November. She had already won the Westfield W-League "Goal of the Year" for a sensational lob against Brisbane on debut.
“I am honoured to be the Perth Glory Women’s MGP and I really enjoyed my time in Perth and getting to know the Australian culture” she said.
DiBernardo, who turns 24 this month, is currently playing for the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League and hinted she’d like to return ‘Down Under’ and hoped to be back in Perth soon.
Bunbury born Socceroo Josh Risdon was named “Best Clubman” and “Young Player of the Year”.
Risdon, who lifted the MGP trophy in 2011-12, had a stellar season, flying the flag for WA and Perth Glory after playing in two World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Jordan.
“I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches and staff for voting for me. It’s always an honour to be valued by your colleagues” he said.
After re-signing for a further year in March, Risdon remains in Socceroos contention for the upcoming friendlies against England at the end of May and the two-game series against Greece in Sydney and Melbourne next month.
Young goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell was crowned "National Youth League (NYL) MGP".
The 19-year old Queenslander who has been mentored by youth coach John Gibson and former Glory goalkeeper Danny Milosevic has been given the captain's armband for the National Premier League team which currently competes against other state league clubs.
“It’s a massive honour to be named MGP” the former Young Socceroos goalkeeper said.
“The players coming through the ranks is a testament to the development and coaching at the club and it’s a privilege to be rubbing shoulders with some of the country’s best players” he said.
In what was his first Hyundai A-League goal, West Australian youngster Mitch Oxborrow won "Goal of the Year" for his stunning free-kick against Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 11.
The club also said farewell to Diogo Ferreira, Hagi Gligor, Hungarian duo Gyorgy Sandor and Krisztian Vadocz and paid tribute to Hyundai A-League veteran Ruben Zadkovich.
After a total of 151 domestic league matches spanning the past decade at Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory FC, a career ending knee-injury has forced Zadkovich to retire from the beautiful game.
The former Socceroo, who turns 30 this month, has been assisting Glory Youth team coach John Gibson in the past season and is currently in discussions with the club about the prospect of a post-career opportunity.
“It’s been an agonising and frustrating 12 months and it’s a very serious injury which has ended my days as a footballer” he said.
"I'm extremely grateful to have played the game I love most. It has given me everything I dreamed of as a young kid. I've got no regrets. As this next chapter unfolds, I'll be focusing on developing my coaching skills, and give back to the game that served me so well."
"To the mates I've made in this game, the guys I went into battle with each week, I'd like to thank them for their comradeship over the years," Zadkovich added.
Ferreira and Gligor's contracts expire at the end of the month while Sandor (for family reasons) and Vadocz (on a short-term injury replacement) will not be staying with Glory next season.
The club would like to thank all outgoing players for their contribution and wish them every success in their next football adventure.
Players from the A-League team and W-League team are on leave and pre-season is due to start for both teams in July.
*Vision of the awards and news grabs for TV and radio will be sent out on Sunday morning*
Perth Glory FC 2015/16 QBE MGP Awards Summary
QBE Most Glorious Player: Diego Castro
Women's Most Glorious Player: Vanessa DiBernardo
Most Glorious Youth League Player (NYL): Jordan Thurtell
Men's Golden Boot: Diego Castro (13 goals)
Women's Golden Boot: Vanessa DiBernardo (six goals)
QBE Supporters’ Player of the Year: Diego Castro
Volunteers’ Player of the Year: Diego Castro
Players’ Player of the Year: Diego Castro
Goal of the Year: Mitch Oxborrow
Women's Coach’s Award: Shannon May
Best Clubman Award: Josh Risdon
Young Player of The Year: Josh Risdon