Brisbane Roar’s outstanding season has been reflected at the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Awards Night in Sydney with the club picking up four awards.
Brisbane picked up the Fair Play Award, SOLO Goal of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year at the Hyundai A-League’s gala night.
Head Coach Ange Postecoglou was rewarded for turning his side into a Premiership winning team and Grand Final contestant as he was named Coach of the Year.
Postecoglou has overseen a squad which has taken nearly all before them this season, guiding them on a 27-match unbeaten run on the way to the Premiership.
Brisbane’s Head Coach is now busily preparing the team for a Grand Final against the Central Coast Mariners on March 13 at Suncorp Stadium but he took some time to reflect on his personal award.
“It’s good recognition for the season we’ve had,” Postecoglou.
“I’m the front man so I pick up the award but I feel it’s great recognition for all the hard work the football staff have put in this season.
“I’m delighted to win it but I’m more delighted with the work we’ve done as a football department.”
Postecoglou said rather than being a distraction the awards presented tonight would be a good boost for his players ahead of the Grand Final.
“Obviously the individual success comes on the back of team success and that’s been our message to the players all year, take care of the team stuff and the rest will follow.
“We’ve had an outstanding year and I’m glad Michael got recognised and Erik and the whole team for the Fair Play Award.”
A large part of Brisbane’s success has been due to the outstanding form displayed by goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos and he was acknowledged as the competition’s Goalkeeper of the Year.
Theoklitos officially kept 11 clean sheets during the regular season, with his substitution with 10 minutes remaining in the season’s final fixture – a 4-0 win over Gold Coast United – not statistically counting as a clean sheet.
The Brisbane No.1 was philosophical about his win, pointing to Sunday’s Grand Final as the key piece of silverware he had his focus on.
“I just feel very humble,” Theoklitos said.
“This time last year if you had told me I’d win Goalkeeper of the Year and be playing in a Grand Final I’d have thought you were joking.
“It goes to show with hard work and a bit of belief anything’s possible.
“It is always a great feeling to get personal accolades but it has always been about the team and without team success you don’t get individual awards.”
This is the third time Theoklitos has claimed the award and significantly the other two times he received the accolade his club side – Melbourne Victory – claimed the Premiership and Championship double.
“Fingers crossed it’s a good omen,” he said.
“Obviously it has been a good year but job’s only half done half done
“Come Sunday if we can win the Grand Final that’ll be the best award we can get.”
When he arrived at the club at the start of the season Erik Paartalu was noted for his ability to score spectacular goals from distance.
While it may have taken 30 matches to materialise, Paartalu’s sweet volley against Gold Coast United in the final regular season fixture was well worth the wait and enough for him to claim the SOLO Goal of the Year Award.
Ghosting into the box with three minutes remaining in the first half of the match against Gold Coast United, Paartalu connected perfectly with Thomas Broich cross from the left, with his left foot volley sailing into the net to the delight of the home crowd.
Paartalu said he was a little surprised to have picked up the award from such a strong field, but felt it was good recognition for a team which has been impressive all season
“I think it was a bit of a surprise for myself,” Paartalu said.
“There were a lot of good goals in the season and a lot of great individual efforts
“While I was happy with a good finish the goal was also as much about the good build up play.
“Thomas Broich put in a beautiful cross and put it on a platter. Luckily for me I hit it sweetly.
“The little awards like SOLO Goal of the Year and the Fair Play Award give us a little boost and it’s nice to see the boys recognised for a dominant and fair season.”
Brisbane’s exemplary disciplinary record throughout the season was also recognised with the club awarded the Fair Play award for accruing the least number of yellow and red cards during the Hyundai A-League season.