NNSW NPL soccer: Back of the Net awards for 2018

By Craig Kerry
September 11 2018 - 5:00pm

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

TOP EFFORT: Lake Macquarie striker Sam Walker celebrates his final goal of the season. Picture: Sproule Sports Focus
TOP EFFORT: Lake Macquarie striker Sam Walker celebrates his final goal of the season. Picture: Sproule Sports Focus

In recent years, Back of the Net has had the player of the year count, before it went in camera, as a guide to predict a winner. This year, though, it’s a stab in the dark. That’s even more so given coaches decide polling by a points count of between one to five for one player in the opposition in each game. In 2017, American Jalon Brown won for his stellar golden boot season with Valentine and Kane Goodchild did the award double while at Hamilton a year earlier. If that is a guide, then Lake Macquarie striker Sam Walker appears a good bet. His tally of 16 goals secured him the leading scorer title and, given the effort was with the eighth-placed Roosters, he is likely to take the lion’s share of votes from his games. It would be great reward for Walker, who stuck with Lake Macquarie through their time in second division and narrowly missed the top scoring honour twice. Other contenders include Magic’s Kale Bradbery, who finished with 17 goals, including finals, and Edgeworth defenders/midfielders Pat Wheeler and Dom Bizzarri. However, all three are likely to lose votes to teammates given the depth and success of their clubs. Honourable mentions must go to players like Maitland’s Carl Thornton and Alex Read, Hamilton’s Tom Davies and Rhys Cooper, Lambton Jaffas’ Ben Hay and Marcus Duncan and Charlestown’s Matt Tull and Tom Smart for full and consistent seasons.

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