Matthew Grimaldi has dominated Western United’s Senior Academy end of season awards, scooping both Club Champion and Players’ Player of the Season honours for the Under 23’s.
The Under 21’s awards were split with Thomas Alisandratos recognised by his peers for an outstanding campaign, and Michael Vonja taking out the Club Champion award as voted by Academy staff.
Grimaldi shone for Western United in his first year at the Club, hitting the ground running with a winning goal in Round 1 against Eastern Lions.
The No.8 went on to score five goals in total as he dazzled in midfield, exhibiting an incredible command over the ball in possession and excellent physicality through the middle of the pitch.
Grimaldi created nine assists across the campaign as well, demonstrating a supreme range of passing with a mixture of raking long balls and precisely threaded passes in behind opposition defences.
Alisandratos top scored for the Under 21’s with 15 goals, ranking him fourth overall in the league as United finished second on the table.
Alongside his 15 goals, the talented young winger added seven assists to contribute to a goal just about every time he stepped out on the pitch.
His brilliant form with the Under 21’s also earned him several appearances in the Under 23’s where he managed to add another goal to his season total.
In terms of elevating from Under 21’s to Under 23’s, Vonja provided the perfect example as he became a key contributor to the senior side in the latter part of the season.
The Joeys goalkeeper played a number of times in Diogo Ferreira’s senior side and remained an integral piece of Vaughan Coveny’s Under 21’s throughout the campaign.
Very much a modern day goalkeeper, Vonja has the complete package with athleticism off his goal line, sharp shot-stopping ability and excellent distribution with hand and with foot.
The United Academy trio were each shining lights in a superb season overall for the Club and one that the program will continue to build from in the coming years.