Qantas Socceroo Brett Holman and Westfield Matilda Sally Shipard were announced as Footballers of the Year at the Australian Football Awards in Sydney.
The fourth annual Australian Football Awards were held at a gala event at the Sofitel Hotel in Sydney tonight where former Italian international and current Sydney FC marquee player Alessandro Del Piero was the guest of honour.
The Australian Football Awards brings together all levels of the sport from the grass roots football community through to the ranks of the Qantas Socceroos and Westfield Matildas, providing a unique opportunity to recognise and reward outstanding achievements.
"It-s a wonderful night for the game to celebrate the diversity of Australian football and pay tribute to everyone from the volunteers through to the superstars,” said Football Federation Australia CEO, David Gallop.
“The AFAs are an important occasion to show that the national governing body wants to nurture that connection to the grassroots. My goal is for everyone who plays, watches and works in the game to feel like they belong in football.
“I congratulate all the winners for their contribution to a stellar year for the game in 2012,” concluded Gallop.
In the professional category, Qantas Socceroo Brett Holman together with Westfield Matilda, Sally Shipard were named the 2012 Male and Female Footballer-s of the Year respectively.
In the Female U20 Footballer of the Year for 2012 went to Westfield Matilda Stephanie Catley and Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan took out U20 Male category for the second year in a row.
In the non-professional category teams, volunteers, coaches and referees from around the nation were also recognised
The Senior Team of the Year went to the Senior Men-s team from Eureka Football Club from Football Far North Coast of Northern NSW whilst the Junior Team of the Year Award went to the U16 Women-s Team of the Avalon Soccer Club from the Manly Warringah Football Association of NSW.
The male coach of the year award went to Darren Cook of Tasmania and the female coach of the year went to Queenslander Fiona Stevenson. . The referee of the year went to Brenton Hayward from Victoria and the volunteer of the year award was presented to John Wainwright from the Tinonee Football Club from the Mid North Coast of Northern NSW.
In addition a new award category of Pararoos Footballer of the Year was presented with Chris Pyne of NSW being named the inaugural recipient.
2012 Australian Football Award winners
Professional awards Footballer of the Year (male): Brett Holman, Aston Villa FC Footballer of the Year (female): Sally Shipard, Canberra United FC U20 Footballer of the Year (male): Mathew Ryan, Central Coast Mariners U20 Footballer of the Year (female): Stephanie Catley, Melbourne Victory FC
Non-professional awards Coach of the Year (female): Fiona Stevenson (QLD) Coach of the Year (male): Darren Cook (TAS) Referee of the Year: Brenton Hayward (VIC) Volunteer of the Year: John Wainwright (NNSW) Team of the Year (Junior): U16 Women-s Team - Avalon Soccer NSW (NSW) Team of the Year (Senior): Senior Men-s Team - Eureka Football Club (NNSW) Pararoos Footballer of the Year: Chris Pyne (NSW)