Riley McGree wins Young Footballer of the Year at Dolan Warren Awards
Riley McGree has been named Young Player of the Year for the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League campaign at the Dolan Warren Awards, hosted online on Thursday evening.
McGree, 21, was the first nominee for the award this season, receiving the October nomination for his superb form to start his first season back at his hometown side Adelaide United since 2016/17.
McGree beat stiff competition from Newcastle Jets duo Angus Thurgate and Matthew Millar, Wellington's Cameron Devlin and Reno Piscopo, Perth Glory attacker Nicholas D'Agostino and Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover to clinch the award.
Three goals in three games in October secured McGree's nomination; the first of which came in a 2-1 win against his former side Melbourne City before a brace in Round 3 helped the Reds come from behind against Newcastle to secure a 2-1 victory.
The nomination capped off a memorable month for McGree in which he also scored and starred in Adelaide's 4-0 win over Melbourne City in the FFA Cup Final.
In his 23 games throughout the season McGree scored ten goals and assisted five. He successfully completed 25 dribbles, laid 33 key passes and distributed the ball at an accuracy of 81.1%.
McGree started all of the 23 games he featured in throughout the season in a display of his importance to the Reds under two seperate coaches, Gertjan Verbeek and Carl Veart.
When accepting the award McGree credited his instant sense of comfort upon returning to the Reds for his fast start to the campaign which led to his nomination for Young Player of the Year in October.
"It’s such a great honour for me personally," McGree said.
"I’ve had a couple of cracks at it in the league… but finally to get it, that’s great.
"Coming back home I was quite comfortable, my confidence was high and I did know most of the players in the team so that helped a lot.
"The staff and the players believed in me which helped a lot as well."