Since the 2013/14 W-League season, the writers and photographers of The Women’s Game have voted to recognise the top performers of the W-League.
This season TWG has expanded the voting pool to include several other members of the women’s football media – including The Football Sack and Fox Sports – who provided dedicated coverage of the W-League. The 16 media members cast their votes in the below categories:
- Best Newcomer (player making their debut in the season)
- Best Veteran (over 30 player)
- Best Goalkeeper
- Best Midfielder
- Best Forward
- Best Young Player (aged 20 or under)
- Best Coach
- Most Valuable Player
With the increased coverage of the W-League and the expanded membership for the awards, it provides an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge people who have covered women’s football in past couple of decades with few resources.
People like Janene Mar and TWG‘s Sarah Groube, both former Communications Managers at Australian Women’s Soccer Association. They wrote Matildas match reports from telephone calls across the ocean and faxed them to publications to spread the word and keep early records.
And people like Penny Tanner who – for the first time – we are pleased to recognise her efforts in the promotion and coverage of women’s football through the Penny Tanner Media MVP Award.
The Penny Tanner Media MVP Award will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player in the W-League as voted on by the media members.
Penny is a media veteran who has covered the women’s state league in Western Australia, the Matildas, Young Matildas and the W-League for 30 years on a volunteer basis.
Penny has been a registered player since her first club days with Melville Soccer Club in 1983. In that time frame she has played for the Western Australian state team in outdoor football as midfielder and futsal (goalkeeper). Penny trained with Matildas under Tom Sermanni in the mid 90s, was vice captain of the Australian Universities Team in 1993 – memorably going up against FIFA legend Mia Hamm – and won silver at 2014 Pan Pacific Masters Games. Still playing the game into her 40s, she returned to her youth club Melville taking out the 2016 first division Best and Fairest award.
Alongside her playing career, Penny’s first role in women’s football media was in 1987 when she became a regular on WA’s Saturday Morning Soccer Show hosted by Martyn Wells. From there she has tirelessly promoted the game through writing match reports, profiling promising new talent and established stars of the Australian game. Away from the pen and microphone, she has worked for the continual improvement of women’s football in WA as president and committee member of the Football West Women’s Standing Committee.
In 2000 Penny was a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal for contribution to Community (football) and she is a Life Member of Football West.
In 2005, she took over hosting duties on the re-named World Football Programme (formerly the Saturday Morning Soccer Show) and is still the host today.
This year Penny celebrates her 30th year in the media and is currently the longest running presenter of any football show in Australia. It seems fitting to name the MVP award after a truly great servant of women’s football.
The Penny Tanner Media MVP Award will be announced tomorrow alongside the Best Coach and Best Young Player awards.
2016/17 W-League Media Award Winners
- Best Newcomer: Remy Siemsen (Sydney FC)
- Best Veteran: Yukari Kinga (Canberra United)
- Best Goalkeeper: Lydia Williams (Melbourne Victory)
- Best Midfielder: Yukari Kinga (Canberra United)
- Best Forward: Sam Kerr (Perth Glory)
Media Award Voters
|Michael Alesich||The Women’s Game||Lachy France||The Women’s Game|
|Rachel Bach||The Women’s Game||Sarah Groube||The Women’s Game|
|Angela Bacic||The Women’s Game||Anna Harrington||Fox Sports|
|Shell Barratt||The Women’s Game||Christian Layland||The Football Sack|
|Ellie Chapman||The Women’s Game||Ann Odong||The Women’s Game|
|The Women’s Game||Teo Pellizzeri||Radio Commentator|
|Cassandra Cocciolone||The Women’s Game||Winona Writer||The Women’s Game|
|Isobel Cootes||The Football Sack||Nicole Westwood||The Women’s Game|
|Cheryl Downes||The Women’s Game||Dominic Unwin||The Football Sack|