Football NSW’s State Dinner was held at the Amora Hotel Jamieson Sydney in what was a fantastic celebration of community football with Southern Districts Soccer Football Association President Andy Favaloro awarded the prestigious George Churchward Medal.
A number of representatives of Parliament were in attendance with the Member for Heffron Ron Hoenig and the Member for Fairfield Guy Zangari present. Sport NSW CEO Darren Simpson and CEO of the Office of Sport Matt Miller were also part of the festivities.
While Football NSW Directors and Life Members all came together to recognise and acknowledge the elite few who have provided consistent and invaluable services at the community level for the world game.
Hosted by the reputable Stephanie Brantz, the evening kicked off with the presentation of the State Award winners.
State Award winners are nominated by their Association in recognition of their tireless efforts and service to football in their local community.
State Awards formally recognise individuals who have provided consistent and valuable service at any level – Club, Association, Branch or State.
These contributions may include services such as: committee member, coach, manager, match official, canteen manager or grounds person.
The 2017 State Award Winners are:
- Ola El Zahab – Bankstown District Amateur Football Association
- Grant Foster – Bathurst District Football Inc
- Laurie Archer – Blacktown District Soccer Football Association
- Maria Gissing – Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association
- John Clayton – Eastern Suburbs Football Association
- Milco Stojanovski – Football South Coast
- Eamonn Donohoe – Granville & District Soccer Football Association
- Lorraine Keay – Lithgow District Football Inc
- Jeremy Toivonen – Manly Warringah Football Association
- John Churchward – Nepean Football Association
- Paul Parks – North West Sydney Women’s Association
- Graham Ferns – Southern Districts Soccer Football Association
- Sok Mallios – St George Football Association
- Keith Ward – Sutherland Shire Football Association
Football NSW Fair Play Award
The Football NSW Fair Play Award acknowledges individuals or teams playing within Football NSW who have demonstrated an outstanding example of Fair Play and good sportsmanship during the 2017 football season.
The 2017 Fair Play Award Winner was taken out by Gladesville Hornsby Football Association’s Normanhurst Eagles First Grade Premier League side.
A Gladesville Hornsby FA Premier League first grade match between Epping Eastwood Tigers FC and Normanhurst Eagles was played on the 29th of July.
The score was 1-1 in a very tight and competitive match.
It appeared that Epping Eastwood had scored but neither the assistant referee nor the referee were satisfied that the ball had crossed the line. However, the players in the vicinity had seen that the ball had hit the support stanchion and bounced back out, and as a result, an Epping Eastwood player picked the ball up to transfer it back to the middle for a kick-off.
After consulting the assistant referee, the referee awarded a free kick for hand ball against Epping Eastwood. However, the Normanhurst captain passed the ball back to their keeper who then kicked the ball back into his own net scoring an own goal. The match ended 2-1 to Epping Eastwood, and the result was significant in that Epping Eastwood finished equal first at the end of the season.
Spectators who observed the incident said it was the most extraordinary act of sportsmanship they had seen, and a credit to all involved with the Normanhurst club.
George Churchward Medal
The stage was set as the main award of the evening, the coveted ‘George Churchward Medal’ was ready to be announced.
An award known to many as the most prestigious of all alongside the ‘Charles Valentine’ Medal, it was Southern Districts Soccer Football Association President Andy Favaloro that took out the major prize.
Andy has thus far achieved over 31 years of volunteering at both club and Association level for the round ball game.
Andy joined the Fairfield Patrician Brothers Soccer Club in 1986 when his son Anthony started playing in the Under 8’s. The following year he became manager of Anthony’s team until the Under 15’s. He was also introduced to the organisational side of Pats when he joined the committee in 1987 as Vice President.
In 1991, Favaloro was elected Club President and continued in that role until 2003.
Along with managing, in 1995 he introduced girls football to the club and he coached one of the teams. His coaching highlight came in 1996 when his Under 16 girls were Premiers and Ron Dine Cup winners. This was to be Andy’s proudest moment of a short but illustrious coaching career.
In 1997 Andy was inducted as a Life Member of the Fairfield Patrician Brothers Football Club.
In 1997 he joined the PD & JC committee and he was subsequently elected Vice President of Southern Districts Soccer Football Association. He also held the role of Treasurer and now President.
Andy has been instrumental in ensuring the association has been financially viable and has ensured that all candidates on the Southern Districts Soccer Football Association Board have continued on with their passion for the sport in growing and developing it in such a football crazed area. The balance sheet of the SDSFA is the direct result of his guidance and understanding of the association.
SDSFA has the highest level of refugees and non-speaking residents of any football association in Australia and Andy has continually thrown his support to assist in building Football as the bridge to a better football community.
From 2000 to 2003, Andy was Vice President of Sydney Branch.
Andy was and still is a strong believer that for football to flourish in the country and especially in the state that it should be unified, and hence was a big supporter of the unification in New South Wales. Over the years Andy has worked closely with the NPL clubs in our area, always willing to assist where possible.
He believes that to run a successful Association you must support Football NSW programs such as AWD, AYL, NPL and Futsal.
The association has built a successful stand-alone entity in football club SD Raiders FC with the drive and enthusiasm of Andy.
Andy has been a huge supporter of all other Associations and continues to go into bat for any fellow Association regardless of consequences as he understands, appreciates and respects the work they all do.
It was a fitting end of the evening as Favaloro received a standing ovation by the many in attendance.
It was a fantastic evening as Football NSW’s grassroots community embraced in what was a spectacular season for all involved.