The Football West Gold Medal Awards were again a closely contested affair, and one had to sympathise with the two players who missed out on the prestigious prize by just one point in the last round of votes, Adam Hayton from Sorrento and Branmir Mikulic from Floreat Athena. Marc Anthony from Cockburn was the eventual winner and a very popular one.
Football West have over the past four years tried to lift the standard of the awards night in line with what it should be when a car valued at $16,000 is up for grabs as well as the nine carat gold medal which is also worth several thousand dollars courtesy of McInerney Ford. The enforcing of the dress code was to be commended although sadly there were still some who felt above it. The staff concerned are to be commended for their efforts, however once again it lies with those in attendance to remember that there are the key sponsors and government officials attending the dinner and the behaviour of all is a reflection on the game.
It is a given at such events that some part of the evening will be boring if your club is not involved, but surely common courtesy of remaining quiet for short periods of time is not too much to ask?
There were however two incidents during the evening that were most disappointing, embarrassing to the game, and should result in the guilty parties being fined and warned.
Armadale’s James Robinson when being interviewed after Round 20 and sitting top of the leader board swearing in front all in attendance. Then came Champion Coach Graham Normanton’s lack of graciousness when receiving the All Flags Champions Trophy. Normanton deciding to dredge up an issue for which he was warned last year, in relation to League Premiers and League Champions. It was unnecessary and inappropriate; especially when Perth had been announced as Champions! What made it even sadder was the fact that one of the state’s most successful coaches of all time was booed off the stage by at least half of the room. This was not a reaction his achievements warranted, but sadly his comments and the response they brought will be a lasting memory for many.
Not only did they embarrass themselves, but they embarrassed the clubs they were representing, and more importantly the game as a whole.