EXCITING Melbourne Croatia striker Zeljko Adzic has won the prestigious John Warren Medal as the National Soccer League Players’ Player of the Year.
Adzic, who is currently in Yugoslavia with first division club Dinamo Zagreb, won by 13 votes from team-mate Branko Milosevic with newcomer Greg Brown from Parramatta Melita third.
The award, named for the first time this year after former Socceroo skipper John Warren, is decided by votes by players and was announced at the NSL Awards night in Adelaide last night.
Minor premier Marconi featured in the other two playing awards, winning the Under 21 Player of the Year with Paul Okon, and Berti Mariani collecting the Coach of the Year award.
Mariani polled 19 votes, Apia Leichhardt coach Manfred Schaefer was runner-up on 16 and Ferenc Puskas third on 12.
Okon just edged St George goalkeeper John Filan by four votes for the Under 21 crown with the pair well clear of the other leading nominations.
Referee of the Year was John Santa Isabel of Melbourne who handled the grand final at Sydney’s Parramatta Stadium.
Player’s Player of the Year Warren Medal: Zeljko Adzic (Melbourne Croatia)141, Branko Milosevic (Melbourne Croatia) 128, Greg Brown (Parramatta Melita)100, Ian Gray (Marconi) 91, Tom McCulloch (Marconi) 77. Under 21 Player of the Year: Paul Okon (Marconi) 177, John Filan (St George) 173, Carl Veart(Adelaide City) 114, David Seal (Sydney Croatia) 112, George Jolevski(Preston) 100. Coach of the Year: Berti Mariani (Marconi) 19, Manfred Schaefer(Apia Leichhardt) 16, Ferenc Puskas (Sth Melbourne) 12, Raul Blanco(Parramatta Melita) 10, Ivan Raznjevic (Melbourne Croatia) 9. Referee of the Year: John Santa Isabel (Melbourne). NYL North Player of the Year: Kris Trajanovski (AIS). South: Saso Becvinovski (Melbourne City). Top Goalscorer: David Seal (SydneyCroatia) 15 goals.