Category: Front Page, Mens, Womens, Junior
Kebede, Orr tie for Sergio Melta Medal
Raiders midfielder Nicholas Orr and Croydon forward Alemayo Kebede have tied for the 2012 Super League Player of the Year, the Sergio Melta Medal.
The pair finished with 20 votes, one clear of Campbelltown City captain Vas Parhas and two ahead of Adelaide Blue Eagles midfielder Jace Cummins.
For Eritrean international Kebede, it completes an amazing journey after he and his national squad team-mates vanished from a tournament in Kenya in December 2009.
The squad sought refuge in a Kenyan Refugee Camp before relocating to Australia in late 2010.
In his second year in Australia and second season with Croydon, Kebede earned man-of-the-match honours four times during the campaign and polled votes in eight matches, including the final three fixtures.
For Orr, it is the second time the midfielder has claimed the Sergio Melta Medal, winning it in 2007 whilst playing at Para Hills.
Coincidentally Orr also shared the top honour that year, tying with triple Sergio Melta Medal winner Simon Catanzaro.
Orr also polled maximum votes four times this season and collected votes in 10 matches.
Kebede and Orr remained in close contention throughout the campaign until the end of Round 15 where Orr skipped ahead of Kebede 17 votes to 13.
Kebede scored two votes in both Round 16 and Round 17 while Orr polled maximum votes in Round 17 to lead 20 votes to 17.
Heading into the final round of the home and away season, the pair were set to face off as Raiders hosted Croydon.
Croydon emerged victorious with a 3-1 win and Kebede starred to poll maximum votes and draw level with Orr on 20.
In other awards, Croydon’s Mark Brazzale collected the Martyn Crook Super League Coach of the Year and Kings’ keeper Nicholas Munro was awarded the John Aloisi Rising Star award.
In the Women’s Premier Division, Adelaide University striker Racheal Quigley took out the coveted Shirley Brown Player of the Year.
Quigley edged out Fulham United attacker Georgia Macri by one vote with Quigley polling 21 votes at the end of the home and away season, while MUWFC Magic pair Donna Cockayne and Ebony Weidenbach finished third with 18 votes.
Quigley earned six best on ground performances and polled votes in nine matches, despite not polling a vote until Round 6.
Macri led the pack after a stunning start to the season but by Round 16 Macri, Cockayne and Quigley all shared top spot with 18 votes.
Quigley polled three votes in Round 17 while Macri collected two votes as the pair prepared to face off in the final round of the season.
Adelaide University were convincing winners in that clash but neither Quigley nor Macri polled a vote leaving Quigley a clear leader on 21.
Fulham United’s Geoff Hargreaves won the Bob Bush Women's Premier Division Coach of the Year and Cumberland’s Emma Checker won the Female Rising Star Award.
Stephen Toth was awarded the Mike Ingham Referee of the Year with Jarrod Muller winning the Mick O’Malley Young Referee of the Year.