A-Leagues to axe Dolan-Warren awards ceremony due to budget cuts with gongs handed out on grand final day

George Clarke
AAP
2 Min Read
Craig Goodwin, won last year’s top prize in the ALM, and Melbourne Victory’s Matildas midfielder Alex Chidiac was crowned the ALW’s best player..
Craig Goodwin, won last year’s top prize in the ALM, and Melbourne Victory’s Matildas midfielder Alex Chidiac was crowned the ALW’s best player.. Credit: Getty Images

The annual Dolan-Warren awards ceremony has been axed, with the A-Leagues set to announce the players of the season at halftime on grand final days.

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have chosen to tone down this season’s Dolan-Warren celebrations, which are usually held in the lead-up to A-League Men grand final week at a glitzy ceremony.

It follows significant cuts at head office this year and a restructure overseen by the competitions’ new commissioner, Nick Garcia.

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Further complications have arisen, with All Stars games returning in the lead-up to the ALM grand final, which could yet be hosted in New Zealand if the Wellington Phoenix finish top of the table.

The ALM All Stars will face English Premier League club Newcastle United on May 24 at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the A-League Women All Stars taking on an Arsenal side boasting three Matildas.

The ALM grand final is due to take place 24 hours later at a venue yet to be determined.

But instead of hosting a swanky soiree, players will be handed the top three awards - player of the season, young player of the season and goal of the season - at halftime in the grand final.

An identical format will be used at the ALW grand final, which is scheduled for May 5.

Other awards will be announced digitally.

Socceroos winger Craig Goodwin, then with Adelaide, won last year’s top prize in the ALM, and Melbourne Victory’s Matildas midfielder Alex Chidiac was crowned the ALW’s best player.

“This year’s Dolan Warren Awards will be presented on our grand final days and across A-Leagues’ owned channels,” an APL spokesman said in a statement provided to AAP.

“We’ve had some fantastic events over the years - of all different variety - but this year we wanted to bring the awards closer to fans and give them a platform to be celebrated during the biggest games of the year.”

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