Deserved success: Why Ipswich club is 'good place to be'
AS Western Pride players, officials and supporters celebrated their historic achievements at their latest awards night, club president Kym Wickstein summed up the mood perfectly.
"It's a good place to be at the moment and the hard work has paid off,'' Wickstein said.
"A lot of people have put in and helped.''
Having been at the National Premier Leagues Queensland football club since its 2013 season launch, Wickstein knows the level of dedication required to succeed.
He was especially proud seeing the 2017 winners recognised on Saturday night at the club's fifth awards night.
Wickstein said player of the year recipients Adam Endean and Kirsten Veeren were deserved winners.
"Adam is a sort of player that just flies under the radar,'' Wickstein said. "He really does his job . . . and a wonderful young man too.
"Kirsten is quality. She does a lot of work around the club that people don't know. She goes to junior coaching seminars . . . and coaches the kids.''
Pride captain Jesse Rigby received the best and fairest award for the men with Sophie Weatherby recognised for her efforts in Pride's senior women's side.
Wickstein praised Pride's under 18 boys for their championship success and for being vital club contributors under head coach Graham Harvey's development structure.
"They treat their role as apprentices of the senior team,'' Wickstein said of the talented young footballers.
"They're in there pumping up balls and getting the equipment ready. They are very very dedicated and they inspire the younger ones.
"They now know the work you do on and off the field makes you a better person.''
Exciting prospects Dan Hall and Alex Parsons are still eligible to play for Pride's under 18 side next season having tasted top team football with the club's all-conquering men's side this year.
Wickstein also confirmed that Pride's dedicated and popular general manager Pat Boyle had been nominated for a life membership, coinciding with the club's monumental season in the state league.
As he reflected on the club's wonderful season, Wickstein also acknowledged those who contributed in the club's early days, like inaugural coach Kasey Wehrman.
The club president said former international player Wehrman did a fantastic job recruiting local talent to establish the team before returning to Norway.
He recommended another A-League stalwart Karl Dodd who played a key role in securing current mentor Harvey.
"We are very fortunate to have a good transition from one coach to the other,'' Wickstein said. "And the philosophy of all three coaches is the same. The coaches who have come in truly believe in giving young kids a go. If they're good enough, they are old enough.''
Western Pride's 2017 award winners
Senior male player of the year: Adam Endean.
Senior female player of the year: Kirsten Veeren.
Senior golden boot: Dylan Wenzel-Halls.
Best and fairest: Senior men - Jesse Rigby. Senior women: Sophie Weatherby. U17 girls: Abigail Evetts. U18 boys: Jacob Kleinhans. U20 men: Matt Haspels.
Players' Player: Senior men - Hayden McHenery. Senior women: Kirsten Veeren. U17 girls: Elli Chapple. U18 boys: Will Orford. U20 men: Andy Pengelly.