11 Jul That’s a wrap.. Melbourne Victory 2015/16 Season
Melbourne Victory’s AFC Champions League campaign might not be over yet, although the club has have capped off their 2015/16 Hyundai A-League Season with two of their biggest events of the season at Crown Palladium. The club hosted their Victory in Business Grand Final Luncheon and the Victory Medal Night, to celebrate the end of another prosperous season and acknowledge the efforts of players, staff, sponsors and fans alike.
The Victory in Business network has continued to grow in strength this season with 1300 guests attending the annual Grand Final Luncheon. Victory in Business members and guests, who had the opportunity to network with some of Australia’s business leaders, also enjoyed entertainment from singer Daryl Braithwaite and comedian Vince Sorrenti. The event was highlighted by a keynote address from the chairman of Football Federation Australia and co-CEO of Westfield Corporation, Steven Lowy AM. In anticipation of the upcoming Hyundai A-League Grand Final, a panel was conducted by Victory head coach, Kevin Muscat and star players Carl Valeri, Besart Berisha and Matthieu Delpierre.
Fast forward a few weeks and the Melbourne Victory alumni were back at Crown Palladium to determine who would be the winner of the 2015/16 Victory Medal. Retiring defender Matthieu Delpierre capped off what was an outstanding final season of professional football by taking out the top award, finishing 41 points clear on top of the leader board. Having finished in second place last season, the Frenchman went one step further this year to take out the top prize, having enjoyed a superb campaign in the centre of defence. Start striker Besart Berisha took second place with 38 votes, followed closely by the departing Kosta Barbarouses on 32 points.
Victory Medal votes were independently cast on a 3-2-1 basis by head coach Kevin Muscat and assistant coach Rado Vidosic after every Hyundai A-League game, including the Finals Series. New recruit, Oliver Bozanic had a flying start, topping the leader board until Round 10 when Delpierre began his surge to the top, being eight votes clear by Round 15. After scoring an impressive 18 goals in the Hyundai A-League, Melbourne Victory’s highest recorded tally by any player, Berisha improved on his Victory Medal performance from the previous campaign with his second place finish and was aptly awarded the Golden Boot award.
In other A-League awards, Delpierre continued his winning streak as he was named the TAC Players’ Player of the Season, with last year’s Victory Medallist Fahid Ben Khalfallah being awarded the Goal of the Season for his stunning strike in the Melbourne Derby in Round 19. This award was voted on by Victory members and fans and awarded by one lucky member on the evening.
Emerging young star, Joey Katebian sweeped the Foxtel National Youth League awards, taking out both the Golden Boot and Victory Youth Medal. Meanwhile, 17-year-old, Annabel Martin was awarded the Victory Women’s Medal after a spectacular debut season for the club. MelindaJ Barbieri was named the Young Player of the Season, while Christine Nairn won the Players’ Player of the Season Award.
Whilst Melbourne Victory’s Hyundai A-League Season has come to an end for another year, the club’s AFC Champions League bid is still alive and well with the Club advancing to the Round of 16 for the first time ever in the Club’s history. The teams fate is to be decided in a 2-tiered battle against current K-League Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, with one home and one away game the ultimate decider. The club look to eagerly add to their trophy cabinet after taking out both the Premiership and Championship in the 2014/15 Season, as well as claiming the FFA Cup for the first time this year.
Max Events wish Victory all the best for the remainder of their AFC Champions League campaign and look forward to another successful season to come in 2016/17. Preparations will be underway in coming months to prepare for what is bound to be another enthralling season both on and off the pitch!