Retiring defender Matthieu Delpierre has capped off a brilliant final season of professional football by winning the 2015/16 Victory Medal in resounding fashion.
Delpierre was a clear winner of Melbourne Victory‘s highest individual award, scoring 73 votes, 32 ahead of Besart Berisha in second place, with Kosta Barbarouses third on 38 votes.
The 35-year-old went one better than his debut season at Victory, when he finished a close second to Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
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.
Delpierre missed just two Hyundai A-League games in 2015/16 and was superb throughout the campaign in the centre of defence.
He polled votes in 21 of 26 games and was awarded the maximum three votes on 13 occasions.
Delpierre didn’t take the lead in the count until Round 10, when he overtook a fast-starting Oliver Bozanic, but by Round 15 he had already developed a lead of eight votes, which he built on in the second half of the season.
Berisha also improved on his Victory Medal performance from the previous campaign, finishing in second place after a season which yielded 18 goals in the Hyundai A-League – the highest tally ever by a Victory player.
In other Hyundai A-League awards, Delpierre won the TAC Players’ Player of the Season and Ben Khalfallah was awarded the Goal of the Season for his classy chip in the Melbourne Derby in Round 19, as voted on by Victory members and fans.
Emerging striker Joey Katebian collected Victory’s Foxtel National Youth League double, winning the Victory Youth Medal and Golden Boot.
In Westfield W-League awards, the Victory Women’s Medal was awarded to 17-year-old defender Annabel Martin for an outstanding debut season at the club.
Martin played every minute of every game for Victory in the 2015/16 season, announcing herself as one of the rising stars of the competition.
MelindaJ Barbieri was named Young Player of the Season, while Christine Nairn won the Players’ Player of the Season Award.
Melbourne Victory 2015/16 Honour Roll
1. Matthieu Delpierre (73 votes)
2. Besart Berisha (41)
3. Kosta Barbarouses (38)
4. Oliver Bozanic (31)
5. Gui Finkler (23)
Other Hyundai A-League Awards
TAC Players’ Player of the Season – Matthieu Delpierre
Goal of the Season – Fahid Ben Khalfallah (Round 19 v Melbourne City)
China Town Golden Boot – Besart Berisha (18 goals)
Foxtel National Youth League Awards
Victory Youth Medal – Joey Katebian
Golden Boot – Joey Katebian (10 goals)
Westfield W-League Awards
Victory Women’s Medal – Annabel Martin
Young Player of the Season – MelindaJ Barbieri
Players’ Player of the Season – Christine Nairn