Ben Garuccio wins Western United Player of the Season

Ben Garuccio Western United

After a stunning debut season in Green and Black, Ben Garuccio has claimed the Western United Player of the Season award at the Club’s inaugural WUFC Gala Awards Night.

The left-back had a stellar campaign, with six assists and two goals to go with a number of standout defensive displays which helped United to A-League Men Grand Final glory.

“To be standing here is just out of this world for me. I’m so happy to be part of this club,” he said.

“The challenges along the way shape you. Twelve months ago I was probably in the worst place I’ve ever been in my career, but if it wasn’t for this Club, all the support I’ve had since day one I wouldn’t be here.”

“I didn’t expect it – playing in a championship team with so many great players.”

The award was based on a 3-2-1 voting system which saw a panel of coaches John Aloisi, Hayden Foxe, and John Anastasiadis, General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato and Director of Football Steve Horvat submit their votes for each game, meaning a maximum of 15 votes on offer to each player, every week.

Based only on the regular season, Garuccio finished with 83 votes, edging out Connor Pain on 82 votes, with Lachie Wales receiving 79 votes to round out the top three.

Joining from Melbourne City in the off-season, Garuccio was a mainstay in the United starting XI, missing just two games in the early rounds due to COVID-19.

Despite being outside the top 10 after six rounds, Garuccio never left the top five from Round 11 onwards after a demonstration of consistent quality throughout the campaign.  

Garuccio struck up a strong partnership with Pain down the left-hand side and proved to be a weapon from set pieces once he stepped into the role after Alessandro Diamanti went down injured.

A number of expertly delivered corners helped United to score some big results, the biggest being just two minutes into the Grand Final to set the Green and Black on its way to the Championship.

His assists total was the highest of any defender across the entire league, while he also ranked sixth in the competition for crosses.

Garuccio’s role in the A-League Men’s second-best defence was also vital, while he owned the moment of the season with his viral scorpion kick against Western Sydney Wanderers in February.

The No.17 fitted seamlessly into the squad and will hope to use this year as a platform for further success at club and international level.