The players, coaches and referees who performed above and beyond their Westfield W-League peers throughout the 2020/21 campaign will be honoured at the Dolan Warren Awards on Wednesday night.
The annual occasion offers the chance for those individuals to be commended for their brilliance displayed throughout the season as the anticipation builds for the A-League Grand Final on Saturday, June 26.
The virtual awards night will take place from 7.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday night.
The virtual awards night will take place from 7.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday night. Fans can watch the show via the A-League and Westfield W-League Facebook pages, My Football YouTube channel, and the My Football Live App on Wednesday evening, 23 June at 7:30pm (AEST). The Dolan Warren awards will also be available to watch on Kayo Sports from 8.30pm (AEST).
Julie Dolan Medal
Awarded to the best player of the 2020/21 Westfield W-League campaign, the Julie Dolan Medal could go to a handful of stars who took the competition by storm.
Michelle Heyman put her hand up for the award after a simply magnificent return season helped to haul Canberra United back into the post-season. Emily Gielnik, meanwhile, ran rampant for Brisbane Roar on her way to claiming the Golden Boot, and will come into contention when the Julie Dolan Medal is awarded.
Kyra Cooney-Cross is impossible to ignore either after her stellar campaign ended in Championship glory. The teenage Melbourne Victory star won the Grand Final off her own boot and will be one of the favourites for the award come Wednesday night.
Coach of the Year
The head coach who wins Coach of the Year for 2020/21 will have beaten out a number of worthy recipients.
There’s Jeff Hopkins at the Victory who will feature in the discussion after guiding his side from a third place finish to the Championship. Then there’s Ante Juric, who like Hopkins earned his side a piece of silverware in 2020/21: the Westfield W-League Premiers Plate, clinched by his Sydney FC side.
Vicki Linton, in her first season as Canberra head coach, took the Green Machine back to the Finals Series for the first time in four seasons. Bowing out at the Semi Finals, Canberra ventured back to the ways of their glory days in 2020/21 and Linton was a key contributor to making it possible.
Young Footballer of the Year
A trio of teenagers will contest for the prize of Westfield W-League Young Player of the Year for 2021.
The three nominations earned between January and March, 2021 were awarded to Melbourne Victory sensation Cooney-Cross, flying Brisbane full-back Jamilla Rankin and 16-year-old Canberra central defender Jessika Nash.
All three players featured in the Finals Series having played different positions and roles for their respective sides, making this battle for the 2021 honour one to watch as the Dolan Warren Awards play out on Wednesday night.
Goalkeeper of the Year
The goalkeeping union was in fine form throughout the 2020/21 season as a number of custodians played key roles for their respective sides.
Perth Glory’s Lily Alfeld made the most saves of any ‘keeper throughout a season in which the Western Australian side came under immense defensive pressure for the majority of the campaign. Sydney FC’s Jada Whyman earned Player of the Game honours in the Grand Final on a losing side to finish off a sterling season, whilst Melbourne City’s Teagan Micah showed all of her class plying her trade for the defending Champions.
Goal of the Year
Picking a winner for the top goal of 2020/21 is no easy task when considering the raft of contenders scored across the campaign.
Heyman kindly presented an array of jaw-dropping strikes to ensure her name would feature strongly in the debate, as did Canberra’s Grace Maher with a lob scored from inside the centre circle in fine fashion against Brisbane Roar. A terrific solo run and finish by Lisa De Vanna caught the eye in the Melbourne Derby, as did a Kat Jukic long-range bomb scored for Perth against Canberra.
Gielnik’s 13-goal haul took her to the top of the Golden Boot standings by the end of the 2020/21 Westfield W-League campaign.
Michelle Heyman burst out of the blocks to become the early favourite for the award but finished on 10 goals for the season as Gielnik put on the afterburners to get to the end of the campaign as the league’s top scorer.
It’s reward for a superb individual season in Roar colours by the Westfield Matildas star.