South Melbourne FC ended its 2014 season with a glittering and successful Gala Ball at Merrimu Receptions last Friday evening.
Over 170 guests were in attendance to celebrate the Club’s inaugural NPL Victoria championship. The event was opened by the Master of Ceremonies, and SMFC Director, George Triantos who reflected on the achievements and success stories of the season that had just ended.
Following the opening address, South president Leo Athanasakis spoke about the challenges ahead for the club as well as recognising the hard work the Board had put in throughout the year. In addition, Leo thanked all the major corporate partners of the Club, as well the SMFC Media Team who had put in a tremendous effort this season.
A number of player awards were handed out on the night, with the highlight being the 2014 Theo Marmaras Medal for the Player of the Year. The Medal Count was staged in four lots of five rounds, with the final five rounds counted down individually to build the tension and excitement.
Milos Lujic with his club record equaling 22 goals in a regular season (24 goals including finals and cup competitions) received his Golden Boot Award from a former recipient of the award – SMFC legend Jimmy Armstrong.
The 2014 SMFC Players’ Player of the Year Award was won by Tim Mala, who spoke of the honour of being voted by his team mates, but also of the great camaraderie amongst the playing squad.
It was not long before Milos Lujic returned to the stage to receive another award, as he was judged the SMFC Media Team’s Player of the Year. His second award for the night was in addition to the FFV Players’ Player Award, FFV Golden Boot Award, and FFV Gold Medal he had previously won at Victorian Football’s night of nights.
The Sam Papasavas Award, which is awarded for service, dedication, and contribution to the Club, was awarded to Jim Lambropoulos for his service to the Club for more than forty years. Mr Lambropoulos has been a loyal and long serving volunteer for South Melbourne, carrying out numerous tasks ranging from general maintenance to ground marshal.
The final five rounds of the 2014 NPL Victoria season were counted down to determine who would be Player of the Year. At the conclusion of the count, Iqi Jawadi was confirmed as the 2014 Theo Marmaras Medal winner with 29 votes, followed by Milos Lujic on 22 votes, and third Tim Mala on 21 votes. SMFC Head Coach Chris Taylor presented Jawadi with the Theo Marmaras Medal. The guests in attendance charged their glasses, and toasted the 2014 Theo Marmaras Medal winner. Jawadi spoke of his appreciation to his team mates and coaching staff for their outstanding year, as well as thanking the support from all the South Melbourne fans.
DJ Johnny Mav took over as his funky tunes saw many make their way to the dance floor and kick up their heels.
It was a night of great celebration, as the curtain fell on a successfull 2014 NPL Victoria season. South Melbourne FC would like to thank its guests for attending a memorable event.
Below is a summary of the awards handed out on the night:
SMFC Golden Boot – Milos Lujic
SMFC Players’ Player of the Year – Tim Mala
SMFC Media Team Player of the Year – Milos Lujic
Sam Papasavas Award – Jim Lambropoulos
Theo Marmaras Medal for Player of the Year – Iqi Jawadi