Adelaide Comets goal machine Allan Welsh was the big winner at the Football South Australia Celebration of Football Awards on Wednesday night.
South Australia’s stand-out men's and women's National Premier Leagues performers were recognised as well as local community competitors at the Awards, which were streamed on Football South Australia social media platforms.
Welsh claimed two major honours on the night, including being awarded the Sergio Melta Medal as the stand-out player in the competition.
The Comets skipper proved instrumental to his side’s maiden NPL SA Premiership win in 2020 – delivering a league-best 18 goals from midfield to also claim the competition’s Golden Boot Award.
Former National Soccer League goal keeper Barney Smith was also acknowledged on a big night for the Comets as NPL SA Coach of the Year.
Finals rivals Croydon Kings also scooped up two major awards, with recent Adelaide United signing Domenic Costanzo acknowledged as the John Aloisi Rising Star award winner.
While Kings goalkeeper John Hall was also recognised as the Goalkeeper of the Year.
NPLW South Australia stars were also recognised on the night with the five awards spread across five separate clubs.
Salisbury Inter’s Chilean international Maria Jose Rojas was recognised for her stand-out campaign - including 24 goals in just 14 appearances - with the Shirley Brown Medal as Player of the Year.
Metro United’s Tony Scalzi was announced as the Coach of the Year after guiding the team to an upset Grand Final win in early October – their first triumph in the end-of-season decider since 2016.
Football SA NTC talent Jonti Fisher was recognised as the competition’s Rising Star Award Winner, while Adelaide City’s Chelsie Dawber’s 31 goals was enough to claim the Golden Boot Award and Sarah Willacy, from West Adelaide, was the Goalkeeper of the Year.
Both Willacy and Dawber will build on their stand-out seasons in the upcoming Westfield W-League campaign with Dawber returning to Adelaide United, while Willacy will suit up for Western Sydney Wanderers.
Football SA President, Sam Ciccarello, was full of praise for all clubs on the night after a challenging 2020 season affected by COVID-19.
“Insofar as the sporting sector, I can say with confidence that the football community in South Australia has led the way for community and semi-professional sports and this is a credit to the leaders in the game at club and association level,” Ciccarello said.