Once a goalkeeper always a goalkeeper, of that there can be no doubt. So we goalkeepers have to stand united and fight for what is a very important cause. We are talking about equal opportunity to win the most prestigious award in Western Australian football, the McInerney Ford Gold Medal for the player of the year.
The Gold Medal started back in 1961, yet no goalkeeper in close to 50 years has ever won this prestigious award.
If we look at the Football Writers Footballer of the year award in England as this has a longer history than the PFA version – which is voted on by the players – since starting in 1947/48 four goalkeepers have taken out the award, Bert Trautmann, Gordon Banks, Pat Jennings and Neville Southall.
Based on the average of this award a goalkeeper should be in the frame every 15 years or so.
However, it has become apparent that the referees tend not to think of awarding votes to goalkeepers, as after the game they do their 3-2-1 votes for the best player and then also vote for the best goalkeeper. As one said on the Gold medal night, ‘I never consider the goalkeepers as I give them a separate vote.’
So that comment would imply that a goalkeeper will never have a chance of driving away with the car and the Gold Medal, which seems more than a little unfair when they can determine a team’s success and failure as much as a striker.
Hopefully the voting on this issue will be reviewed for next season, to make the award all inclusive. If not the unofficial goalkeeper’s union may well have more to say!