Football Federation Australia has moved to raise the prestige of the Johnny Warren Medal by broadening the judging panel to include former professional players, referees, coaching experts and members of the media for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season and beyond.
The Johnny Warren Medal, the Hyundai A-League’s Player of the Year award, will also be significantly expanded to include voting on every match, replacing the previous system that saw current players vote in three blocks after rounds 9, 18 and 27.
A member of the following groups will vote on all 135 Hyundai A-League regular season matches:
· A former player – including winners of the Johnny Warren medal from the NSL and Hyundai A-League eras (Damien Mori and Nick Carle)
· A member of the FFA Technical staff including the Socceroos coaching staff (including former winner Ante Milicic)
· The match officials that officiated on the game
· A senior member of the Australian football media including FFA broadcast partners, print and radio journalists
“The Johnny Warren Medal is the most prestigious award in the Hyundai A-League and FFA has worked with all stakeholders to increase its stature and profile in line with the growth of the League,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“The winner of the Johnny Warren Medal at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season will stand on stage with the endorsement of a broad range of stakeholders including players, coaches, referees and the media.
“Over the first ten seasons of the Hyundai A-League, the competition has grown to the point where the Johnny Warren Medal is now broadcast live on FOX SPORTS and this format will allow the event to continue to grow in line with the evolution of the competition.”
The changes were implemented following consultation with all Hyundai A-League clubs, the PFA and the Warren Family.
“The family of Johnny Warren applauds the FFA for striving to lift the profile of the Johnny Warren Medal and endorses this new format,” said Jamie Warren, the nephew of the late Johnny Warren.
“The four voting members encompass everything Johnny loved and stood for in the game with player input, he was a proud member of the media, he stood for fair play and respect for match officials and was one of Australia’s most astute technical minds.
“We look forward to watching the season unfold and crowning the winner of the Johnny Warren Medal at the end of the season.”
The 2015/16 Johnny Warren Medal will be broadcast on FOX SPORTS.