Despotovski picks up A-League top gong - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Despotovski picks up A-League top gong

13/03/2006 09:29:40 PM Comments (0)

Experience has won out over youth at the inaugural A-League awards with the top honour going to veteran Perth striker Bobby Despotovski ahead of Sydney FC star Dwight Yorke.

Despotovski, 34, claimed the Johnny Warren Medal for the player's player of the season in Sydney.

A-League champion Sydney FC, as well as minor premiers Adelaide, were also snubbed in the coaching honours with Lawrie McKinna, the mentor of losing grand finalist Central Coast, receiving the gong after his Mariners' fairytale season.

It was a night to buoy the spirits of the troubled Glory, who face an off-season of rebuilding after its season imploded following the departure of coach Steve McMahon in December, failing to make the finals.

In some consolation, the club also won the Fair Play award for fewest cards, with the Rising Star honour going to young Perth midfielder Nick Ward.

Despotovski edged out 35-year-old Yorke by just 11 votes, 237 to 226.

The pair were way ahead of their younger rivals with Queensland's 22-year-old Alex Brosque third on 179.

All 160 players from the eight clubs awarded 3-2-1 votes after rounds seven, 14 and 21 to decide the medal winner.

Newly-capped Socceroo defender Michael Beauchamp may have challenged for the award but his straight red card for the Mariners in the 5-1 round 11 loss to Sydney excluded him from the running.

Serbian-born Despotovski's eight-goal tally also earned him a further shared honour, collecting the Golden Boot with three other players for top scorer in the regular season.

Central Coast's Stewart Petrie, former Melbourne striker Archie Thompson and Sydney-bound Brosque also each netted eight times.

Despotovksi is currently riding a tidal wave of approval - he also took out Perth's Most Glorious Player and player's player of the year awards earlier this week.

The veteran striker has already signed up for what will be his 10th year at Perth next season after joining the club in its first season in the old NSL in 1996-97.

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