Shane Smeltz named Hyundai A-League's best player

A New Zealander born in Germany who grew up on the Gold Coast and who plays in the Hyundai A-League for a team from Wellington has taken out the most prestigious prize in football in Australia in 2009, the Johnny Warren Medal.

A New Zealander born in Germany who grew up on the Gold Coast and who plays in the Hyundai A-League for a team from Wellington has taken out the most prestigious prize in football in Australia in 2009, the Johnny Warren Medal.

Shane Smeltz, 27, took out the Johnny Warren Medal ahead of Scotsman, Charlie Miller (Queensland Roar) and Adelaide United captain, Travis Dodd.

The Johnny Warren Medal is a peer-voted award named after one of the legends of the game, the late Johnny Warren MBE, OAM.

Smeltz also won the Golden Boot Award for the most number of goals scored in the 2008/09 season (12 goals) as well as Goal of the Year judged by national coaching and other technical experts for his Round 13 strike against Melbourne Victory.

Smeltz is due to join the new Hyundai A-League team, Gold Coast United, from next season.

The popular and affable Miller didn-t go home empty-handed winning the new award of Foreign Player of the Year in recognition of the growing number of international players in the Hyundai A-League.

Two of the players recently rewarded by Socceroos coach, Pim Verbeek, with a national call-up were also recognised.

20 year old Scott Jamieson (Adelaide United) won the Rising Star Award while his Hyundai A-League team mate, Eugene Galekovic won the Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

Other award winners included Aurelio Vidmar (Adelaide United) as Coach of the Year and Matthew Breeze as Referee of the Year.

The achievements of two other players was also recognised with Matt Thompson (Newcastle Jets) and Sergio Van Dijk (Queensland Roar) receiving a memento of their respective hat tricks. Thompson bagged three against Melbourne Victory in Round 16 while Van Dijk scored three against Sydney FC in Round 20.

The Hyundai A-League 2009 Awards were held at a glamourous red carpet ceremony at The Ivy in Sydney this evening before an A-League A-list audience of around 350 people.