Despotovski named best

Experience has won out over youth at the inaugural A-League awards with the top honour going to veteran Perth striker Bobby Despotovski ahead of Sydney FC star Dwight Yorke.

Experience has won out over youth at the inaugural A-League awards with the top honour going to veteran Perth striker Bobby Despotovski ahead of Sydney FC star Dwight Yorke.

Despotovski, 34, claimed the Johnny Warren Medal for the player's player of the season in Sydney.

A-League champion Sydney FC, as well as minor premiers Adelaide, were also snubbed in the coaching honours with Lawrie McKinna, the mentor of losing grand finalist Central Coast, receiving the gong after his Mariners' fairytale season.

It was a night to buoy the spirits of the troubled Glory, who face an off-season of rebuilding after its season imploded following the departure of coach Steve McMahon in December, failing to make the finals.

In some consolation, the club also won the Fair Play award for fewest cards, with the Rising Star honour going to young Perth midfielder Nick Ward.

Despotovski edged out 35-year-old Yorke by just 11 votes, 237 to 226.

The pair were way ahead of their younger rivals with Queensland's 22-year-old Alex Brosque third on 179.

All 160 players from the eight clubs awarded 3-2-1 votes after rounds seven, 14 and 21 to decide the medal winner.

Newly-capped Socceroos defender Michael Beauchamp may have challenged for the award but his straight red card for the Mariners in the 5-1 round 11 loss to Sydney excluded him from the running.

Serbian-born Despotovski's eight-goal tally also earned him a further shared honour, collecting the Golden Boot with three other players for top scorer in the regular season.

Central Coast's Stewart Petrie, former Melbourne striker Archie Thompson and Sydney-bound Brosque also each netted eight times.

Despotovksi is currently riding a tidal wave of approval - he also took out Perth's Most Glorious Player and player's player of the year awards earlier this week.

The veteran striker has already signed up for what will be his 10th year at Perth next season after joining the club in its first season in the old NSL in 1996-97.

Mark Shield was named the competition's best referee.

Johnny Warren Medal - Top 20

1. Bobby Despotovski - Perth Glory 237
2. Dwight Yorke - Sydney FC 226
3. Alex Brosque - Queensland Roar 179
4. Fernando Rech - Adelaide United 170
5. Archie Thompson - Melbourne Victory 158
6. Andre Gumprecht - Central Coast 137
7. Tom Pondeljak - Central Coast 107
8. Dean Heffernan - Central Coast 96
9. Noel Spencer - Central Coast 93
10. Hyuk-Su Seo - Queensland Roar 84
11. Ross Aloisi - Adelaide United 81
12. Shengqing Qu - Adelaide United 75
13. David Carney - Sydney FC 72
14. Damien Mori - Perth Glory 66
15. Carl Veart - Adelaide United 54
16. Angelo Costanzo - Adelaide United 49
17. John Hutchinson - Central Coast 49
18. Richard Kitzbichler - Melbourne Victory 48
19. Alvin Ceccoli - Sydney FC 46
20. Ante Milicic - Newcastle Jets 45