Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was the big winner at the Newcastle Jets’ annual Player of the Year Awards held at Newcastle City Hall on Friday evening.
The 24-year-old was recognised as the club’s and Members’ Player of the Year for 2016, plus feted with Men of Football’s Ray Baartz Medal at the gala which was attended by over 250 Newcastle Jets players, management, partners, sponsors, members and supporters.
Birighitti, who returned to the club following a loan spell with AS Varese in Italy in June last year, kept three clean sheets in 26 appearances throughout his 2015/16 campaign.
What’s more, the ambitious custodian produced a string of stunning saves throughout the season which not only earned him plaudits from club members, fans, and the media, but the highly respected vote of his peers when it came time for the first team squad to submit their players’ player votes recently.
I feel very honoured coming away with all 3 awards last night. Player of the Year, Members Player of the Year & Ray Baartz Medal. It's been an honour playing for the @newcastlejetsfc this season. I want to thank all the supporters, players and coaching staff for their ongoing support without which receiving these awards may not have been possible #JetsAwards2016
A photo posted by Mark Birighitti (@markbirighitti) on Apr 15, 2016 at 9:41pm PDT
Impressive American import Megan Oyster was named Newcastle Jets Women’s Player of the Year 2016 for her commanding displays for Craig Deans’ side in the Westfield W-League.
23-year-old Oyster joined Jets Women on loan from Washington Spirit in the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States last October, and showed throughout the campaign why she has represented her nation at a variety of youth levels via her polished yet powerful performances in the heart of defence.
Young attacker Cody Carroll was recognised as Newcastle Jets’ Youth Player of the Year for his breakout performances throughout the club’s Foxtel National Youth League 2015/16 season.
Carroll progressed through the club’s Emerging Jets pathway, and is a member of Clayton Zane’s 2016 National Premier League (NPL) Northern New South Wales squad.
Long-serving volunteer Evelyn Stonham was recognised for her eleven years of passion, commitment and service to the club when she received the Newcastle Jets Club Person of the Year Award for 2016.
Since 2005 Stonham has dedicated many hours of her weekends to support the club’s game day and event operations across both the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League realms.
The club’s top goalscorer awards went to Milos Trifunovic (nine (9) goals in Hyundai A-League 2015/16), Tara Andrews (three (3) goals in Westfield W-League 2015/16) and Brandon Lundy (four (4) goals in Foxtel National Youth League 2015/16) respectively.
Newcastle Jets 2016 award winners
Newcastle Jets Hyundai A-League Player of the Year 2016: Mark Birighitti
Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League Player of the Year 2016: Megan Oyster
Newcastle Jets Foxtel National Youth League Player of the Year 2016: Cody Carroll
Newcastle Jets Club Person of the Year 2016: Evelyn Stonham
Newcastle Jets Members’ Player of the Year 2016: Mark Birighitti
Men of Football Ray Baartz Medal 2016: Mark Birighitti
Newcastle Jets Hyundai A-League Top Goalscorer 2015/16: Milos Trifunovic (9)
Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League Top Goalscorer 2015/16: Tara Andrews (3)
Newcastle Jets Foxtel National Youth League Top Goalscorer 2015/16: Brandon Lundy (4)