Carle takes out Johnny Warren Medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carle takes out Johnny Warren Medal

By Philip Henderson 27/02/2007 09:01:12 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle Jets midfielder Nick Carle denied champions Melbourne a clean sweep of the individual gongs at Tuesday night's A-League awards by claiming his own personal double - including the night's biggest prize.

Carle capped a superb season, and further boosted his Socceroos prospects for the Asian Cup campaign, by taking out the prestigious Johnny Warren Medal for the players' player of 2006/07.

The Jets star received the medal at the Sydney Opera House, and then for good measure took home the goal of the year award for his stunning run and strike against Adelaide in round 10.

Carle finished ahead of Victory trio Daniel Allsopp, Kevin Muscat and Archie Thompson in the players' poll, as Melbourne players virtually fell over themselves in the race for Australian soccer's highest individual honour.

With all A-League players voting on a 3-2-1 basis three times during the season, Carle ended the year with 284 votes. Allsopp polled 258, Muscat 235 and five-goal grand final hero Thompson 200.

Melbourne, though, didn't walk away empty handed after completing the A-League's first championship-minor premiership double.

Ernie Merrick took out coach of the year, Adrian Leijer received the rising star award, and Allsopp pocketed the golden boot for most goals in the regular season.

The Victory's all-round domination, however, ultimately counted against them in the players' poll.

As well as Allsopp, Muscat and Thompson, Brazilian star Fred was also expected to poll well, but was ruled out of the running because of a three-match ban he received for elbowing Sydney FC defender Mark Milligan in round two.

Players who have received straight red cards or have been banned in a disciplinary hearing are ineligible for the award.

Carle, though, is a more than worthy winner after being the chief driving force in Newcastle's stunning rise from the bottom of the table to the preliminary final.

The award is also tangible proof of Carle's all-round growth as a player this season.

Despite his amazing attacking instincts, the 25-year-old has played just once for the Socceroos, overlooked in the past because of a perception he struggles in defence, is lazy, slow and selfish.

Carle has done all he can this season to dispel those perceived shortcomings, and with Tuesday night's award could be in the frame for a Socceroos call-up ahead of the Asian Cup in June.

In other awards, grand final official Mark Shield was referee of the year for the second straight season, while Perth Glory also made it back-to-back fair play awards for accruing the least number of yellow and red cards for the season.

Allsopp scored 11 goals during the regular season to take out the golden boot ahead of strike partner Thompson (10).

Thompson's five-goal haul in Melbourne's 6-0 grand final demolition of Adelaide was not included as only goals scored during the regular season were counted in the award.

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