Pellegrino Perth’s best

Adriano Pellegrino has capped off a wonderful first season for Perth Glory by claiming the club’s top honour, the ‘Most Glorious Player’, at a gala awards ceremony held at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on Friday night.

Adriano Pellegrino has capped off a wonderful first season for Perth Glory by claiming the club-s top honour, the ‘Most Glorious Player-, at a gala awards ceremony held at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on Friday night.

The diminutive midfielder started every match for Perth in the 2008/09 season and set the standard on field with his consistent and tenacious play. He led the team in assists (6) and minutes played (1834) while adding a goal scoring touch in the latter part of the campaign including one strike against Melbourne in round 14 which was a contender for the Hyundai A-League goal of the year.

The acquisition of Pellegrino to the Glory squad proved a recruiting masterstroke by Coach Dave Mitchell who backed his assessment of the midfielder-s talent and was rewarded with a stunning season on the pitch.

“I-m very big on attitude and character of players and Adriano came to the club with the clear intention of making good on his opportunity and I-m delighted that he has stamped his authority on the team and the league,” Mitchell said.

“I knew his ability, he is technically very good, he gets stuck in and is a great person to have around the club. All the ingredients were there for him to be a top player but at the end of the day he was the one who had to put it all together and this season he did that.”

Pellegrino also took home the Volunteers Player of the Year which is presented by Perth Glory-s loyal brigade of match day helpers while he was a whisker away from claiming the QBE Players- Player of the Year gong which went to striker Nikita Rukavytsya by just two votes.

“Adriano continued to blossom throughout the season and it was his consistent performances that really pleased me. The hallmark of a good player is their consistency and he was always someone you could rely on to go out there and do a job.

“We received plenty of praise for the way we were able to turn things around in the second half of the season and Adriano was very much a key to that,” said Mitchell.

Rukavytsya was recognised by his peers with the QBE Players- Player of the Year award after yet another terrific season in which he enthralled supporters around the country with his blistering pace and deadly shot. The outstanding young striker plundered ten goals to be Perth-s equal highest scorer alongside Frenchman Eugene Dadi, the pair sharing the ‘Bobby Despotovski Golden Boot- Award.

Dadi, who is on loan to FC Vaduz in the Swiss Super League and will return for Glory-s 2009/10 season, reaffirmed his huge popularity amongst Perth fans by collecting the Supporters Player of the Year award.

Again it was an extremely close race for the trophy with Dadi taking the honour by two votes from Rukavytsya after more than a thousand votes were cast by members and supporters via the Perth Glory website.

There was also plenty of competition amongst Olyroos team mates Rukavytsya and Tando Velaphi for the Young Player of the Year award which was presented to the most outstanding Under 23 player on Glory-s senior list.

It was Velaphi who claimed the honour following a break-out season in goal after returning from Olympic duties. The 21 year old stepped into the fray during a time the side was under significant defensive pressure and quickly righted the ship to prove why he is considered one of Australia-s top shot stoppers.

“Tando has matured and continued to develop his game and most impressively he stood up when needed and had a great season,” Mitchell said.

“He wasn-t able to spend a lot of time with us in the pre-season because of Olympic commitments but when he got back he worked hard and waited for his opportunity and when it came he took it firmly in those safe hands.”

Club stalwart Jamie Harnwell, runner up in the MGP count, was awarded Best Clubman for his tireless efforts both on and off the pitch. Harnwell revived his position at centre half for the majority of the season but went forward when called upon and scored three important goals.

While his contribution on the pitch was invaluable he also continued to play a wonderful ambassadors role for Perth Glory with his willingness to promote a positive message at all levels from grass roots through to the corporate sector.

The inaugural Member Equity Bank ‘Most Glorious Youth Player- was awarded to defender Scott Neville after a standout season from the Sorrento youngster in the National Youth League. The recognition comes on the back of an exciting week for the 20 year old who yesterday signed a three year deal to play with Perth in the Hyundai A-League.

“Talent plus desire equals success and Scott showed those qualities throughout the season,” Perth-s Youth Team Coach Gareth Naven said.

“Scott gained in confidence with each match and used that as building blocks to keep getting better and was our most consistent performer. His efforts fully warranted an opportunity at the next level and I-m sure he will make the most of it.”

Perth Glory-s Westfield W-League captain, Tanya Oxtoby, took home the women-s top honour after a great season in the new competition. Oxtoby-s experience and leadership were significant elements in Glory-s competitive season in which she guided a team burgeoning with outstanding young talent.

2008/09 Perth Glory Most Glorious Player Awards Most Glorious Player - Adriano Pellegrino QBE Players- Player of the Year - Nikita Rukavytsya Young Player of the Year - Tando Velaphi Best Clubman - Jamie Harnwell Golden Boot - Eugene Dadi & Nikita Rukavytsya Supporters Players of the Year - Eugene Dadi Volunteers Player of the Year - Adriano Pellegrino Members Equity Bank Most Glorious Youth Player - Scott Neville Most Glorious Women-s Player - Tanya Oxtoby

2008/09 Perth Glory ‘Most Glorious Player- Leaderboard Adriano Pellegrino - 23 Jamie Harnwell - 14 Tando Velaphi - 11 Nikita Rukavytsya - 10 Wayne Srhoj - 10 Amaral - 9 Eugene Dadi - 8 Scott Bulloch - 7 Jamie Coyne - 6 Scott Neville - 6 Nikolai Topor-Stanley - 6

Perth Glory ‘Most Glorious Player- Award Recipients 2008/09 Hyundai A-League - Adriano Pellegrino 2007/08 Hyundai A-League - Nikolai Topor-Stanley 2006/07 Hyundai A-League - Simon Colosimo & David Tarka 2005/06 Hyundai A-League - Bobby Despotovski 2003/04 NSL - Bobby Despotovski 2002/03 NSL - Scott Miller 2001/02 NSL - Bobby Despotovski 2000/01 NSL - Bobby Despotovski 1999/00 NSL - Gareth Naven 1998/99 NSL - Danny Hay & Scott Miller 1997/98 NSL - Danny Hay 1996/97 NSL - Gavin Wilkinson