Monaro Panthers Roko Strika and Canberra Croatia striker Brittany Palombi have been awarded with the main awards at the 2023 Capital Football Awards Gala evening held at the Rex Hotel in Braddon on Thursday evening, the duo winning their respective National Premier League Player of the Year Awards.
Strika, who was instrumental in the Panthers push for the finals, a push that ultimately fell just short due to goal difference, was in incredible form for nearly the entire 2023 season. His performances at both ends of the park were outstanding, his goals always vital and, often match-winners.
For Palombi it was a similar tale. A Golden Boot winning season, as is often the case of the striker with a lethal left-foot, Palombi saw her team fall at the penultimate hurdle, beaten in the Preliminary Final by eventual double-winners Canberra Olympic. Her all-action displays pushed her team close, and she was a worthy recipient.
In truth, many could have scooped the prizes. Nico Abot did just that in an ultra-competitive Capital Premier League campaign, winning the Capital Premier League Player of Year and the Golden Boot award.
As grassroots level, Tuggeranong United’s Tamara Haitsma won the Volunteer of the Year Award, her tireless efforts at the Southside club rewarded with this significant recognition. Football just could not operate without superstars like Tamara.
In front of a healthy crowd of close to 200, the annual awards also recognised the important role that the match officials play. Bruno Kehl won the NPL Referee of the Year awards for a second successive season, a feat matched by Karla Martin in the WNPL. Delfina Shakespear was named CPL Referee of the Year.
As usual, Capital Football recognised its club Champions, O’Connor Knights in Men’s NPL, Canberra Olympic in Women’s, and ANU FC in the Capital Premier League, concluding another outstanding season in the national capital.
MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
NPL Player of the Year: ROKO STRIKA (Monaro Panthers)
WNPL Player of the Year: BRITTANY PALOMBI (Canberra Croatia)
CPL Player of the Year: NICO ABOT (Queanbeyan City)
Volunteer of the Year: TAMARA HAITSMA (Tuggeranong United)
NPL Referee of the Year: BRUNO KEHL
WNPL Referee of the Year: KARLA MARTIN
CPL Referee of the Year: DELFINA SHAKESPEAR
NPL Club Champions: O’CONNOR KNIGHTS
WNPL Club Champions: CANBERRA OLYMPIC
CPL Club Champions: ANU FC