Mariners clean up at Westfield W-League awards

The Central Coast Mariners Westfield W-League team has scooped the pool at today’s 2009 awards ceremony, taking away five of the ten categories on offer.

The Central Coast Mariners Westfield W-League team has scooped the pool at today-s 2009 awards ceremony, taking away five of the ten categories on offer.

After finishing second on the ladder just a point behind Sydney FC after ten rounds, the Mariners now also officially boast the league-s best player, goalkeeper, and coach.

Michelle Heyman, who picked up awards in three categories, Jillian Loyden, and coach Stephen Roche, all represented the Mariners on the awards dais.

Heyman was well and truly the star of the show, after being named player of the year, and being presented with the prestigious Julie Dolan Medal.

“She had no idea,” said Mariners Westfield W-League head coach Stephen Roche.

“I certainly thought she was a chance, she had to be in the mix with the amount of goals she scored and the amount of games she changed.

“Every goal she scored was an important goal,”

Heyman finished the season with 11 goals from the ten rounds and picked up the Golden Boot for that haul, as well as recognition for her stunning hat-trick in the 6-nil demolition of Adelaide United in round seven.

“Michelle has had an outstanding season. It-s due to the fact everyone in the team is happy, they want to play and work for each other, and that makes it a lot easier,” said Roche.

American import Jillian Loyden was recognised by her peers as the best goalkeeper in the league for the 2009 season, while Roche was rewarded for his work in making the Mariners genuine title contenders, by being voted joint coach of the year, alongside Canberra United mentor Ray Junna.

“It-s always good to be recognised by your peers and by my fellow coaches. I have a healthy respect for all the coaches I coach against, so it-s great to be recognised.

“Most of it (the credit) should go to them, because if they-re not receptive to what we-re trying to do … it doesn-t matter how good you are as a coach, so hopefully I have earned their respect, as they have earned mine as players,” said Roche.

It-s now hoped the Mariners- success at the function will prove to be a confidence boost heading into Sunday-s Westfield W-League semi final against defending champion Brisbane Roar at Bluetongue Stadium.

After finishing the regular season in second, the Mariners can book a spot in the Grand Final should they overcome the Roar, and in fact, could host the showpiece, should Canberra United beat premier Sydney FC in the other semi final.

860 fans cheered on the Mariners women in last Saturday-s final round clash against Sydney, and the side is hoping for another big crowd this Sunday as it pushes for a spot in the decider.

“It was a fantastic turnout from the Coasties, and with the men and the youth team at home on Saturday, and then us on Sunday with a Major Semi, it-s a bit of a football feast for the Coast this weekend so hopefully we can do the triple for the first time, all at home,” Roche said.

Gates open at Bluetongue Stadium at 2:00pm with tickets $5 for adults, $2 concession, and Mariners Members and kids under 4 free. Tickets will be available at the gate.

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