The Newcastle Jets W-League side’s most committed performer on and off the pitch each season will receive the Cheryl Salisbury Dedication Award as part of a new initiative from Men of Football.
The award will become part of the annual honours given out by the Hunter chapter of Men of Football, a not-for-profit organisation which supports people in need within the sport.
Men of Football has given out the Ray Baartz Medal to their Jets A-League player of the year each season since 2011. The W-League award, however, will not be a player of the year honour.
Men of Football Hunter chapter vice-president Bill Pryce said Salisbury wanted the award to be based on dedication to the game, team and community, on and off the field. Novocastrian Salisbury played a record 151 games for the Matildas and this year was the PFA’s first female Alex Tobin medallist.
Jets W-League coach Craig Deans and his staff will give out votes based on the criteria each week to players in their squad.
“I think it’s great and the girls will really appreciate it,” Deans said.
“They are doing so well and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have the same opportunities.
“I think it’s at the point now that we don’t talk about men or women, we just talk about football. Everyone is just more accepting of the fact that women’s football is doing so well and they deserve the same recognition as the boys. It’s great.”
“They recognise that it’s just as hard for the girls to be the fifth best team in the world as it is for the Socceroos.”