Fresh from signing her first professional contract with Western United this week, Natalie Picak has been named the NPLW Victoria Goalkeeper of the Year.
Receiving the honour at Tuesday night’s NPL Victoria Gold Medal Night, Picak was recognised for an outstanding campaign with Calder United.
Breaking out at senior level for the first time, the 18-year-old starred in goal as Calder United enjoyed another fantastic season, reaching the NPLW Victoria Finals Series and won the NIKE F.C. Cup.
After making her way into the starting line-up following the opening handful of rounds, Picak never looked back and was a key part of Calder’s resurgent run of form through the back half of the season.
Picak was immense as Calder kept a clean sheet in seven consecutive games across league and cup matches in July and August.
After joining Calder from South Melbourne, Picak stepped seamlessly into the first-choice position at senior level and helped propel Calder into a finals position.
Picak’s form was also recognised by international selectors as she was called up to attend her first ever Young Matildas camp last month.
That selection began a whirlwind fortnight for the youngster, with a maiden Liberty A-League Women contract and this award both coming in quick succession.
Calder and Western United teammate Keiwa Hieda also featured on the night as she finished in the top 10 in the NPLW Victoria Gold Medal voting.
Elsewhere, Western United Under 23’s star Matthew Grimaldi finished in the top 10 in the NPL 2 Victoria Best & Fairest count.
After a stunning campaign that earned him Club Champion honours at Western United, Grimaldi was recognised by the league audience for his dominance in midfield.
Grimaldi signed his first professional contract following his breakout campaign and scored on his senior debut as a substitute in United’s Australia Cup Round of 16 win over Gold Coast Knights last week.
Fellow Western United Academy midfielder Noah Holmes also finished among the best 10 players in NPL 2 Victoria after a fantastic season in Green and Black.