A-League’s highest individual honour helps sooth pain of semi-final defeat.
Melbourne Victory winger Marco Rojas has capped off a stunning individual year by taking out the Johnny Warren Medal at the A-League’s awards night.
The win for Rojas provides a boost to the 21-year-old and the club after they were knocked out of the running for this year’s title by the Central Coast Mariners.
Making Rojas’ victory that much more impressive is the list of talent he beat for Australian football’s top prize, with the Victory star polling 908 votes from Sydney FC’s Alessandro Del Piero (449), Mariners’ Daniel McBreen (280) and Michael McGlinchey (239), and Adelaide’s Dario Vidosic (222).
Rojas is expected to be able to earn a lot more in the free-agent market as he is yet to reign with the Victory for next season.
Along with the Johnny Warren Medal, Rojas also won the NAB Young Player of the Year award.
However, the skilled midfielder said he is not rushing into any decisions regarding his future, saying the pain of his side’s finals defeat is still fresh in his mind.
“I’m not sure yet. When I get back I’ll speak to my Dad and we’ll sort that out and I’m sure there will be some news coming out soon,” Rojas said.
“That’s for Dad to do (work out contracts). I don’t need to do that stuff. You probably have to ask him, but I’m thinking too much about what happened (against the Mariners).
“The season was all right, compared to where we finished last year. It’s always good to progress.
“For me it was OK but just a disappointing end to a season that looked really exciting at the start. It’s never easy to lose any game, especially being so close to the grand final. It’s really hard to take.”
The double medal win completes a rise from relative obscurity for the New Zealander after not socring a goal two seasons ago to bagging 15 and setting up nine.
Other major awards on the night went to Western Sydney Wanderers leader Tony Popovic won coach of the year, Wanderers’ Ante Covic won ‘keeper of the year and the Mariners’ Daniel McBreen claimed the golden boot.