PRIZEGIVING: And the winner is…
Aaron Scott and Johnelle Wereta (pictured above) have been respectively named Melville men’s and women’s first team players of the year.
At the annual prizegiving ceremony at The Atrium in Hamilton, first team skipper Scott collected a record fifth player of the Year award, and was also named Melville personality of the year.
For 21-year-old Wereta, it was her first player of the year award in just her second year in the women’s team, and a reflection of her important influence down the right hand flank, where it was estimated she contributed to 75 per cent of Melville’s goals.
Melville’s 2019 northern league coaches could not be present at the awards, with Michael Mayne offshore seeking coaching qualifications and Sam Wilkinson swept southwards by a career desire to coach at academy level in Wellington.
However they forwarded written comments on the various men’s first team award winners.
Of Scott, they said: “We would like this award to not only represent his performances over the last season but over the three years we have been at the club. He was the one player that would have been within in his rights to not have a bar of us when we came to the club but instead was the most loyal and hard working player we had. He set the standards for performance and attitude from our first to last day at the club. It has been an absolute pleasure watching him perform every week.”
And there was also a hint Melville may not have seen the last of Scott at northern league level.
In other northern league awards, stunning Welsh import Craig Pritchard was named Players’ Player.
Coach comment: “A key catalyst in our cup run, a player that added creativity and quality in the top third of the pitch. He was arguably the best player in the league during his short time at the club. His ability to link with other payers but also defend when out of possession made him a clear winner for the player’s player award.”
With Pritchard back in the UK, currently ripping up trees with Marine FC at Rossett Park in Liverpool, the coaches suggested former first team skipper Gavin Douglas should collect the award. on his behalf.
“We figured this might be the only time Gavin ever gets to accept an award for playing ability.”
However Douglas was not at the awards, having flown to Australia at short notice after learning he had missed out on being named Melville New Old Boys (Nobs) player of the year. With Nobs awards, they struggled with the whole concept of having a player of the year, concluding they did not have the breadth of experienced to judge the merits of players from different positions. They instead opted for defender (Greg Hobson), midfielder (Josh Billman) and forward (Kieran Frewen) awards at the expense of the otherwise inspirational Douglas.
The northern league young player award went to Logan Wisnewski – who the coaches revealed had also gone close to scooping the top award.
“His consistency and quality in central midfield were a huge factor in our run of form over the second half of the season. He was happy to play in multiple positions, his attitude and work ethic are everything a Melville United player should aspire to.”
Two lynchpins of the Melville back line, Luke Searle and Flynn O’Brien shared the team’s squad member award.
“The development of these two players over the last three seasons has been one of the most pleasing aspects of our time at the club. They will both go on to have outstanding seasons in the National League. Not only did they put in high quality performances on the pitch but they have worked skilfully and diligently with our next generation of academy players and in general been tremendous ambassadors for the club.”
On the women’s front, Katie Woodhatch, new into the club from the UK, was a popular players player. Woodhatch was strong in midfield and up top, with a good skillset, while she was also commended for her influence off the pitch.
Fullback Dion Henley, 17, was named women’s Young Player in a “coming of age season’ in which she was rock-solid at the back, according to coach Laichyn Parkinson.
For the second successive year Sok Ven was the Federation team player of the year, while Ben Wheatley was players’ player.
For Melville Reserves midfielder Josh Galletly was honoured as player of the year while left back Campbell Brown was Players’ Player.
In club-wide awards Melville club captain Phil Wheatley was named 2019 Club Person, collecting the award for a fourth time. Wheatley did not speak, later privately reflecting he might have done better by his own standards.
Melville United award winners
Club Person: Phil Wheatley
Club Personality: Aaron Scott
Coach of the Year (shared): Sam Wilkinson / Michael Mayne
Special Achievement: Norther Premier League team reaching Chatham Cup final
Women’s Golden Boot: Erin Pemberton
Men’s Golden Boot: Kieran Frewen
Goal Difference: Waikato D Division
Youth Player of the Year Logan Wisnewski
Squad Member Flynn O’Brien / Luke Searle
Players Player Craig Pritchard
Player of the Year Aaron Scott
Women’s Premier Team:
Youth Player of the Year Dion Henley
Squad Member Natasha Murrihy-Paulussen
Players Player Katie Woodhatch
Player of the Year Johnelle Wereta
Northern League Reserves:
Squad Member Blake Wisnewski
Players Player Campbell Brown
Most Promising Josh Galletly
Player of the Year Josh Galletly
WaiBOP Premiership Federation:
Most Promising Andrew Olsen
Squad Member Matt Wheatley
Players Player Ben Wheatley
Player of the Year Sok Ven
Women’s Reserves Development:
Most Improved Katie Bevan
Squad Member Antonia Timings
Players Player Kelsie Mackintosh
Player of the Year Kelsie Mackintosh
Squad Member Subesh Naidu
Forward of the Year Kieran Frewen
Midfielder of the Year Josh Billman
Defender of the Year Greg Hobson
Most Improved Mitch Eason
Squad Member Rob Dunnigan
Players Player Jared Rowell
Player of the Year Richard Newell
Most Improved Riley Curry
Squad Member Jono McAdam
Squad Member Zach Newell-Chard
Players Player Luke Lek
Squad Member Scott Clark
Goal of the Year Stu Miller
Players Player Lance Bauerfiend
Most Improved Scott Peden
Squad Member Laichyn Parkinson
Players Player Liam Tubman
Player of the Year Chris Wakefield
Most Improved Erin Pemberton
Squad Member Lauren McDonald
Players Player Mikaela Vette
Player of the Year Mikaela Vette