The football career of Wellington Phoenix striker Nathan Burns reached new heights on Monday night when he won the prestigious Players’ Player of the Year Johnny Warren Medal at the Hyundai A-League awards dinner.
The highlight of the gala evening at Carriageworks in Sydney, the Warren Medal is voted on by all A-League players and Burns took it out by a massive 211 votes from second-placed Marcelo Carrusca of Adelaide United.
Burns received 577 votes, Carusca 366, Fahid Ben Khalfallah (Melbourne Victory) 317, Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory) 277 and Sergio Cirio (Adelaide United) 245.
Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said it was terrific to see Burns, who he rescued from the footballing wilderness at the start of this season, being recognised by his peers.
“Only special players win this award and to do it in such convincing fashion is great for Nathan who has had a tremendous season,” Merrick said.
“It is also something special for the team and the club because Nathan has thrived in the environment at the Phoenix where the players are such a close-knit unit.
“Nathan has worked hard from the moment he arrived in Wellington and throughout the season has played the best football of his career.”
As a club the Wellington Phoenix won the A-League Fair Play Award for accruing the least number of red and yellow cards during the season.
James Jeggo was named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award ahead of Brandon Borello (Brisbane Roar FC).
Melbourne Victory’s Premiership winning Head Coach Kevin Muscat received the Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year award.
Sydney FC’s Austrian Marquee player, Marc Janko, took home the Nike Golden Boot Award as the top goal scorer in the Hyundai A-League.
Eugene Galekovic collected the Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Award for a record fourth time.
Adelaide United defender Tarek Elrich scored the Hyundai A-League Goal of the Year Award for his Round 27 solo effort against Melbourne City FC.