Brett Connell – VAFA CEO
On Wednesday evening, the VAFA hosted some 400 guests at the Pullman in East Melbourne for our inaugural VAFA Awards Dinner.
The night has been two years in the making, given over the last two years we have had separate events to acknowledge individual award winners in both our men’s and women’s competitions and the change has been driven by wanting to be as inclusive an Association as possible.
Combining the two awards nights allows our players, clubs and competition in general to celebrate individual excellence across the year gone by, as well as not add further VAFA events to our volunteers already busy schedules.
Congratulations are extended to Woodrow Medallist Ayce Cordy (University Blues) on taking out the highest individual honour in the William Buck Premier men’s competition, and Women’s Premier Competition medallist Imogen Barnett (Old Trinity) who was the recipient of the William Buck Premier Women’s award – both players had terrific individual seasons capped off by their wins on Wednesday.
While the elite winners are exulted across our William Buck Premier competitions, we also crowned men’s and women’s medallists in our Premier B, Premier C, Division 1-4, and Holmesglen U19 sections – refer to FTLOTG for a full list.
Add to that Leading Goalkickers, acknowledging all of our senior men’s and women’s, U19 and Thirds competitions, and you can well imagine it was a full dance card on the night.
Highlights are always the Men’s Rising Star and Anytime Fitness Women’s Rising Star winners. Congratulations are extended to our Men’s Rising Star, Hamish Dick (Old Brighton) and our Anytime Fitness Women’s Rising Star, Madi Capsalis (Old Mentonians) on what is a significant achievement to be acknowledged as the best young player in your respective competitions.
The Coaches MVP Awards for our William Buck Premier Men’s competition, Gus Borthwick (Old Melburnians), and William Buck Premier Women’s, Vanessa Murphy (Old Trinity), were also presented on the night – says something about a player when selected by your respective competition club coaches, well done on your year’s individually.
In previous years, the Woodrow Medal has been a vote count format, this year we tried a different style. While we moved away from tradition, it also added a wonderful celebration of our best individual performers in 2019.
Given the number of awards to be recognised on the night pre-counting had been done for all competitions and a radio broadcast on RSN Carnival aired two Wednesdays ago (September 4) – you can pick up a replay of this if you missed it via the VAFA podcast.
To the successful Thirds Premiers last week – Caulfield Grammarians, Hawthorn AFC, Williamstown CYMS & St Mary’s Salesian, congratulations.
To the successful Preliminary Final winners UHS-VU (on a thriller after the siren in extra time), Brunswick NOBs, Manningham Cobras and Albert Park – congratulations for also gaining promotion in 2020.
Well it’s all down to the Preliminary Finals this weekend in the Premier sections and Premier Thirds – all the very best to all competing teams.
In closing, thanks to everyone involved in the VAFA in 2019, by any measure we have had a successful season and will be well underway in planning for 2020 before you know – thanks for your support of our wonderful Association.
See you at the Footy