Players, administrators, and officials from throughout the Capital Football region gathered at Jack Hackett’s Irish Pub to celebrate the 2017 Capital Football Awards
Upper Hutt’s W-League winning side were the big winners at the 2017 Capital Football Awards, taking out three awards including Coach of the Year for Wellington Hall of Fame member, Wendi Henderson. Sarah Gregorius was an overwhelming winner as W-League Player of the Year while Emma Main marked an unprecedented third year as winner of Women’s Young Player of the Year. The award is presented to the most promising footballer under the age of 20 so Emma, just short of her 18th birthday, could yet add to her streak in 2018.
The Men’s Young Player of the Year went to Western Suburb’s rising star, Elijah Just, who was also among the Central League Player of the Year finalists. That award went to Wairarapa United’s Sam Mason-Smith who wasn’t able to attend but took to Twitter to acknowledge the win.
As well as the Capital Football Awards, hosts Team Wellington also added two members to the Wellington Football Hall of Fame. Launched in 2011, the Hall of Fame acknowledges the achievements and contribution of some of the legends of Wellington football.
There would be few who would argue about the 2017 inductees as Bobby Minshull and Michael Utting took their place on the Hall of Fame honours board.
Minshull, who turned down a chance to play for Liverpool to move to New Zealand in 1963, has been a fixture in Wellington football since he arrived in the city. As a player, coach, administrator, and fan there is little he hasn’t achieved in the game and that passion has spread through generations of his family. He spoke of his love for football and of the many, many friendships he has made through the game.
Beginning his senior career with Miramar, football took Michael Utting all around the world playing for clubs, professionally, and for his country. Speaking on his career highlights, Utting talked about how a car accident in South Africa nearly ended his career with doctors telling him he would never walk again. Two years later, after some intense rehab and focus, he stood in goal as the All Whites played Brazil in the Confederations Cup.
Capital Football would like to acknowledge Minshull and Utting alongside all the winners in the 2017 Capital Football Awards. We extend our thanks to Team Wellington for their hosting of this event and to everyone in our community who makes this game what it is.
Referee of the YearAntony Riley
Club Volunteer of the YearPaul Martin (Petone)
Club Administrator of the YearJoanne Todd (Western Suburbs)
Senior Club ChampionshipMiramar Rangers
Women’s Young Player of the YearEmma Main (Upper Hutt)
Men’s Young Player of the YearElijah Just (Western Suburbs)
Women’s Premier Player of the YearDanielle Ohlsson (Wellington United)
Men’s Premier Player of the YearSam Pickering (Petone)
W-League Player of the YearSarah Gregorius (Upper Hutt)
Central League Player of the YearSam Mason-Smith (Wairarapa United)
Coach of the YearWendi Henderson (Upper Hutt)