Good Evans: Marc scores the top awards
Marc “Hitman” Evans has added a further impressive hat trick to his stellar 2017 season by trousering three of the major awards at the Melville prizegiving.
In front of an audience of about 150 at The Atrium on Friday night, Evans was awarded Player of the Year, Golden Boot, and Club Personality of the Year.
ABOVE: Prizegiving concluded with a rendition of “Mighty Mightly Melville”.
Having flown in from a short playing stint in Rarotonga, Evans was also presented with a special achievement award for breaking the club’s first team individual seasonal goalscoring record with his 39 goals, including eight hat tricks.
Evans, for whom English is a second language, was so emotional that he could only address the function in his native Welsh tongue (with a translation then offered by Taffy Thomas).
“Rwyf wrth fy modd â’r clwb hwn,” Evans began. (“I love this club.”)
The translation continued: “I want to thank everyone at Melville from my team mates and coaches to the supporters and committee.
“I am especially appreciative of the personality award because it speaks to the character behind the goals, recognises me as a holistic club member, and not just a goalscoring machine.
“I rank it alongside my selection for Wales U19s many years ago as my most valued football recognition.”
Melville co-coach Sam Wilkinson said Evans “stood above the rest of the team” with a catalogue of brilliant goals that saved the day on so many occasions.
Evans also won the Northern League Division 1 golden boot, while his club tally was embellished by a further seven goals for the Old Boys team and one for the Melville Nobs, when he was not required for first team duty.
Evans has now scored 66 first team goals in 62 appearances for Melville, to sit third on the all-time scorers list behind Mark Cossey (84) and Steven Holloway (82).
But even Evans couldn’t prise Players’ player away from Aaron Scott, who won it for the seventh time since 2005.
“Aaron was heartbeat of the team, and a tremendous support to the coaching team,” Wilkinson said.
Scott also felt the love from the wider club with speakers calling him Melville’s best dressed on the night and “headmaster material” – to huge cheers.
But there were also fashion gaffes. One poverty-stricken speaker up on stage had been forced to attend without socks – the club will surely organise a whip-around…
Liam Hayes and Flynn O’Brien shared the young player award. Wilkinson said responsibility had been thrust upon Hayes as the mainstay of midfield and he had responded, while O’Brien forced his way into the team on form and enjoyed an outstanding season.
Co-coach Michael Mayne said it was “not the easiest gig” replacing Steve Williams, and thanks Williams and commercial manager Steve Owens for their support.
“I can’t wait to get 2018 rolling.”
Melville first team manager and life member Steve Bettis took the supreme club award for 2017 Club person – to go with his four player of the year awards from the 1970s and 80s.
As manager Bettis usually arrived at 9.30am at Gower Park on matchdays and was among the last to leave.
Alan Holt from Melville D’s was named coach of the year following a season in which his team won its maiden title by a margin of 20 points. Holt was later bestwed with the Service to Melville award in recognition of his wider input to the club.
Jackie Pretswell secured women’s player of the year and also golden boot with 17 goals, two clear of Kelsie MacKintosh. Goalkeeper Yvette Stevenson was named Players’ Player and Isla Allen young player.
But for a draw against Manukau, Melville Reserves would have been champions for the second successive year, but despite the disappointment, coach Merv Williams celebrated a good season.
“Melville have the best pitch, the best committee, the best set-up,” he said.
He named Sok Ven – promoted from Melville Bs in 2016, as player of the year.
“He is a beast of a player.”
Devon Williams was named Players’ Player.
Josh Nooijens scored 24 goals for the team, with 10 of them reputedly coming off his shins.
Melville Nobs secured the Goal Difference Trophy having scored 103 goals and conceded just 19.
“It was a really good season,” said coach Gavin Douglas. Former first teamer Kieran Frewen was named player of the year,
It was the first time Melville have won Waikato A Division since the Simmo Trophy became the honour in the federation era.
# Melville’s AGM is set for Saturday November 11, 2pm at Gower Park. It will be preceded by a new East v West club game at 12 noon.
Melville Prizegiving Awards 2017
Squad Member: Sue McAllister
Most Improved: Mia Coker
Players’ Player: Bailey Guilford
Player of the Year: Bailey Guilford
Squad Member: Laura Davidson & Summer Gunn
Most Improved: Selena Timings
Players’ Player: Jessie Begbie-Hall
Player of the Year: Tanya Mete
Squad Member: Henry Goodall
Most Improved: Venkatesh Krishnan
Players’ Player: Ryan Watson
Player of the Year: Sharnden Jeram
Melville Young Guns
Squad Member: Sean Zeier
Most Improved: Jonathon Mc Adam
Players’ Player: Scott Fisher
Player of the Year: Ben Scaramuzza
Melville Genuine Old Boys (GOBS)
Squad Member: Phil Wheatley
Goal of the Year: Darby MacDonald
Players Player: Todd Nasmith
Squad Member: Kit Davis
Most Improved: Reece Oldham
Players’ Player: Alex Pandy & Jordan Wilson
Player of the Year: Alex Pandy
Melville New Old Boys (NOBS)
Squad Member: Subesh Naidu
Youth Player: Hamish Utteridge
Senior Player: Jason Chewins
Player of the Year: Kieran Frewen
Squad Member Josh Muldroch
Most Improved Liam Tubman
Players’ Player Ben Wheatley
Player of the Year Stuart Campbell
Squad Member: Raukawa Raynel
Youth Player: Keegan Hansen
Players’ Player: Devon Williams
Player of the Year: Sok Ven
Squad Member: Kelsie MacKintosh
Youth Player: Isla Allen
Players’ Player: Yvette Stevenson
Player of the Year: Jackie Pretswell
Squad Member: Thomas Mouncher & Joel McMullan
Youth Player: Flynn O’Brien & Liam Hayes
Players’ Player: Aaron Scott
Player of the Year: Marc Evans