CENTRAL Coast striker Michelle Heyman scooped the pool at the W-League awards winning both player of the year and golden boot at a lavish ceremony in Sydney today.
The powerful 21-year-old striker walked off with the Julie Dolan Medal for Player of the Year and also picked up the Golden Boot for her 11 goals during the season and the Hat Trick award for her three goals in round seven.
For Heyman, football has proved to be a surprisingly successful career move. After playing for Sydney FC last year she moved to the Coast where her talents as a hard-running striker have been recognized.
In her acceptance speech, Heyman paid tribute to Sydney FC 's Matildas striker Sarah Walsh for providing the inspiration to follow her football dreams.
"I'm a very late starter. I played rugby union and touch football as a young girl and I didn't think of soccer as a professional sport I wanted to do," Weyman told Sportal after receiving her Player-of-the Year gong.
"When the W-League started, that's when I became really interested.
"I didn't really know much about the Matildas growing up in Shellharbour, but moving up to Sydney and playing for the Central Coast opened my eyes.
"Now I want to achieve as much as I possibly can in the game."
Rising star from Perth Glory, 16-year-old Sam Kerr was another big winner being voted Players' Player of the Year and also Goal of the Year for her audacious long range effort in round eight against Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval.
US import Jillian Loyden of Central Coast Mariners was named Goalkeeper of the Year. The Young Player of the Year Award saw joint winners, Brisbane Roar's Elise Kellond-Knight and Canberra United's Ellyse Perry.
Perry, 19, a dual football and cricket international, hailed the awards and told au.fourfourtwo.com the W-League has gotten stronger in its second year.
"It is a fantastic league and they're doing all the right things in terms of the promotion of the women 's game and giving opportunities at the elite levels," she said.
"For me to play in an environment that is extremely competitive is such a highlight.
Proof of the game moving in the right direction is an exciting new employment program set to be launched for players with Westfield providing job opportunities for W-League players.
"We are very pleased with the second season of the Westfield W-League. It further cements the place of football for women and girls in the sporting landscape and gives talented female athletes a strong domestic competition," said Ben Buckley FFA CEO.
This weekend sees the W-League finals kick off with two crackers. This Saturday at Toyota Park in Cronulla Premiers Sydney FC take on Canberra United. Twenty four hours later at Bluetongue Stadium, Central Coast and reigning champions Brisbane Roar fight it out.
The two winners meet in the W-League grand final on December 19.
"Finals football always has that air of excitement around it and I 'm sure there 'll be plenty of fans from Canberra making the journey up to Sydney," added Perry.
The full list of Westfield W-League awards are as follows¦
- Julie Dolan Medal - Player of the Year: Michelle Heyman, Central Coast Mariners
- Players ' Player of the Year: Samantha Kerr, Perth Glory
- Goalkeeper of the Year: Jillian Loyden, Central Coast Mariners
- Young Player of the Year: (tied) Elise Kellond-Knight, Brisbane Roar and Ellyse Perry, Canberra United
- Coach of the Year: (tied) Stephen Roche, Central Coast Mariners and Ray Junna, Canberra United
- Referee of the Year: Kate Jacewicz
- Golden Boot: Michelle Heyman, Central Coast Mariners - 11 goals
- Goal of the Year: Samantha Kerr, Perth Glory " Round 8, Perth Glory v Sydney FC
- Hat Trick Award: Michelle Heyman, Central Coast Mariners - Round 7, Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners and Tameka Butt, Brisbane Roar - Round 10, Newcastle United v Brisbane Roar
- Fair Play Award: (tied) Sydney FC and Canberra United