MELBOURNE Croatia's 32-year-old midfield maestro, and skipper, Josip
Biskic, won the prestigious Player of the Year Award at the NFL Annual Awards at
the Darling Harbour Convention Centre last night.
Biskic, the brains behind Melbourne Croatia's two successive minor
premierships, won the Joe Marston Medal for the best on the ground in last
year's grand final.
That was even though Melbourne Croatia were - as in last week's grand
final against Adelaide City - beaten on penalties for the title by South
Biskic won from other nominees - Damien Mori (Melbourne Croatia), Mehmet
Durakovic (South Melbourne), Paul Trimboli (South Melbourne) and Tim
In other major awards announced last night:
* Heidelberg's 18-year-old Kevin Muscac, one of the heroes from the young
Socceroos' efforts in Portugal and destined to be the young Socceroo skipper
for the Australian-hosted World Youth Championships next March, won the Under-21
Player of the Year.
The final nominees list was Con Boutsianis (South Melbourne), Paul
Agostino(sold to Young Boys Berne for $350,000 during the week, from West
Adelaide)and two other young Socceroos, Brad Maloney (Newcastle) and Mark
* Socceroo goalkeeper Robert Zabica beat off a top field of challengers
-John Filan (Wollongong), Bruce Maclaren (South Melbourne), Gary Meier (Sydney
Olympic) and David Miller (Melbourne Croatia) - to win the inaugural Goalkeeper
of the Year Award.
* Wollongong's former Socceroo stalwart, 35-year-old David Ratcliffe, was
named as coach of the year.
He beat Miron Bleiberg (Brisbane), Mick Hickman (Sydney Olympic), Zoran
Matic (Adelaide City), who was the first coach to win the League/Cup double, and
Melbourne Croatia's Ken Murphy.
* Sydney Croatia's goal scoring machine and 1993 Young Socceroo Ante
Milicic won the Northern Division Youth League Player of the Year while
Melbourne Croatia's Jani Suric took out the Southern Division Youth League
Player of the Year.
* Grand final referee, 29-year-old John McConnell, took out the referee
of the year award from other final nominees John Fraser (Victoria), Richard
Lorenc (NSW), Tom McRoe (South Australia) and Gary Power (NSW).