The WA Football Media Guild and West Australian Football Commission hosted the annual WA Football Media Awards at Optus Stadium last night, Tuesday November 19, to recognise the season’s high achievers both on and off the field.
This included awards for online, print, radio and television media, WAFL and AFL players and coaches, as well as special awards for outstanding service.
Awards were judged in each category by members of the WA Football Media Guild, the West Australian Football Commission, and an appointed judging panel.
Peter Kyle Memorial State Player Award
Josh Deluca (Subiaco)
WAFL Goalkicking Award
Ben Sokol (Subiaco)
WAFL Player of the Future
Ryan Borchet (Subiaco)
WAFL Player of the Year
Lachlan Delahunty (Subiaco)
Coach of the Year
Beau Wardman (Subiaco)
Fremantle Football Club Player of the Year
West Coast Eagles Player of the Year
AFL Emerging Player of the Year
Oscar Allen (West Coast)
AFL Player of the Year
Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
WEST AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL COMMISSION AWARDS
WA Country Football League Media Award
Justin Rake (Mandurah Mail)
Justin’s coverage of football in the Peel Region was of an extremely high quality, with his reporting, analysis, news breaking and photography receiving praise from local clubs, coaches, presidents and officials on a frequent basis.
Perth Football League Media Award
Perth Footy Radio/SportsEdge
Awarded for its weekly online streaming production and broadcast of Perth Footy Live. Perth Footy Live was a new initiative for the Perth Football League which was a weekly 3-hour community interview style broadcast, sharing in the stories of grass roots football and profiling local clubs and their sponsors. Content from the show was shared with amateur clubs Facebook Pages and Community Newspapers.
WAFC Community Football Media Award
Rhianna Mitchell (The West)
Rhianna spent four days visiting remote Aboriginal communities in the central Kimberley and witnessed how young women were being galvanized through a love of football. The story exposed the enormous logistical hurdles they faced just to play every week and resulted in a gofundme page raising almost $10,000 to help them achieve their dreams.
WAFC Umpiring Media Award
Jack Crawshaw (Sport FM)
Jack’s regular umpiring segment on Sport FM helped raise awareness of key umpiring issues and positively promoted the important role of umpires at all levels of football.
Women’s Football Media Award
Daniel Carson (AFL Photos)
His collection of work promoting female football was of extremely high quality and the power of the images a great promotion for the women’s game. Steve Butler was highly commended for his collection of articles and overall promotion of women’s football.
Emerging Media Talent Award
Jimmy Williams (6PR / Ch9)
Jimmy was a strong candidate for this award in his first year in the industry in 2018 and emerged as an even stronger talent this year.
Jimmy's role at 6PR includes attending footy press conferences, writing copy for news, and voicing reports. He also produces 6PR's weekend sports programs and publishes content to the website. On game day, Jimmy was 6PR's boundary rider at Dockers matches.
In 2019, his career continued to build as an emerging TV talent with 9 News, attending AFL training and press conferences, packaging sports stories, and shot-listing and creating match reports for AFL games on weekends.
Rod Locke Best WAFL Photograph
Daniel Carson (AFL Media) – West Coast v West Perth
A great photo capturing the pain that has happened behind the play and the pain still to come.
Maurie Hammond Best AFL Action Photograph
Daniel Carson (AFL Photos) – Gray Diver
A great action shot demonstrating peak action under difficult circumstances.
Todge Campbell Best AFL News or Features Photograph
Daniel Carson (AFL Photos) – AFL Grand Final
A special moment where there’s enough emotion to tell the story of the day without even seeing the players’ faces.
Best Overall Online Performer
Craig O’Donoghue (The West)
Craig covered a wide range of topics across a broad range of online platforms with skill.
Most Outstanding Use of Social Media
Steve Allen (10 News) – Blake Acres
Steve’s use of social media for this exclusive interview with new Fremantle recruit Blake Acres, responded to the competitive news pressures by putting it online immediately, rather than waiting for other outlets to pick up the story.
Bernie Kirwan-Ward Best WAFL Story
Steve Butler (The West) – Wrong target
A very human news story illustrating the pressures footballers come under and how they react to them. It also carried an important message to spectators about acceptable behavior at the football.
Ross Elliot Best Match Report
Mark Duffield (The West) – Dockers conjure recipe
A top-class report written in a delightful style.
Jack Lee Best News Story
John Townsend (The West) – The Rioli Defence
A genuine exclusive on one of the biggest football stories of the year that answered questions the sporting world wanted to know. Amid the numerous questions arising over the Willie Rioli drug test story, John was able to get this exclusive explanation for Rioli’s actions with a new level of detail.
Alan Newman Best Feature Story
Braden Quartermain (Sunday Times) – Why Fyfe’s in Poll Position
This article had great insight and depth of analysis into why Fyfe was almost a certainty to win the Brownlow, and on top of that analysis Braden had Fyfe talking about the change in his game style over the course of his career, which would have been fascinating to most football fans.
Best WAFL Coverage
Sport FM 91.3fm
Sport FM for their weekly call of WAFL games and extensive coverage throughout the week with WAFL content across all of their programs. The judges also commended ABC radio for their long-term coverage of the WAFL competition, noting this has continued despite increasing commitments to cover AFL games and other sports.
Tim Flynn Best Commentator
Clint Wheeldon (ABC Radio)
The judges said that Clint’s descriptive explanation of where the ball is on the ground and ability to lift at the right moment was excellent. Clint called every AFL game at Optus Stadium, as well as his 5th consecutive AFL Grand Final in 2019.
Brien Thirley Best Expert Commentator
Brad Hardie (6PR)
Brad’s flair, entertainment value and ability to inform, combined with his analysis of the game made him a worthy winner of this award. The judges also commended Mick Malthouse and said he was a great addition to WA’s ABC commentary team.
Dick Buchanan Best News Story
Kim Hagdorn (6PR) – Willie Rioli
Kim Hagdorn was the first to break the news that due to an ASADA drug test, Willie Rioli would be withdrawn from the West Coast team to play Geelong in the Semi Final the following night, which became one of the biggest football news stories of the year.
Best WAFL TV Story
Paddy Sweeney (Ch9) – Beau Wardman
The judges congratulated Paddy on his initiative to present an insightful story about Subiaco coach Beau Wardman’s transition from Umpire to Colts Coach to League Coach.
Best TV/Video Camera Work
Trent Nind (Ch7) – Draft Greaves
A stylish, carefully constructed piece that was classy and elegant. The pictures were very appropriate for the story. The judges also commended Nathan Hill for capturing Liam Duggan and Hamish Brayshaw’s embrace at training.
Best TV Match Report/Package
Ryan Daniels (Ch7) – David beats Goliath
Ryan consistently demonstrates excellent work with his AFL match reports, highlighted in 2019 by this particular example.
Frank Sparrow Best TV Match Caller/Commentator
Adam Papalia (Fox Footy)
Adam is continually growing in stature as a highly respected commentator and is a deserving winner of this award.
Best TV News Presentation
9 News –Willie Rioli Breaks his Silence
Nine Perth’s sport department received information that Rioli had returned from the Tiwi Islands to Darwin and intended to train with St Mary’s Football Club.
Nine liaised closely with a NT based reporter and camera operator to attend the club’s training sessions over a 3-week period. On October 8th, persistence paid off, with 9 News capturing an exclusive interview with Rioli and exclusive training vision.
Mick Cronin Best Feature Story/Program
Ryan Daniels (Ch7) – Dark Days
A bold, brutally honest story that was very timely, addressing a serious social issue, leveraging football for the betterment of society.
Dennis Cometti Award for Career Excellence
Michael Thomson (Ch9)
George Grljusich Award for Best Overall News Story
Kim Hagdorn (6PR) – Willie Rioli ASADA
Geoff Christian Medal for Excellence in 2019
Adam Papalia (Fox Footy / 6PR)