Mariners star judged A-League’s best

A-League Men Rd 24 - Western United v Central Coast Mariners
Mariners star Josh Nisbet has won the Johnny Warren Medal. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Central Coast midfielder Josh Nisbet’s stellar season has earnt him the Johnny Warren Medal for being the A-League’s best player.

The 24-year-old Mariners star’s superb form throughout his club’s 2023-24 campaign not only helped Central Coast finish on top of the A-League ladder but also led to him debuting for the Socceroos in March against Lebanon.

“Josh is an incredible talent and continues to get better each year,” A-League commissioner Nick Garcia said.

“An academy product who has now played over 120 games, Josh is a great role model for other young players coming through the league and for fans alike with his professionalism, hard work and dedication to always try and improve.”

A-League Men Rd 22 - Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast midfielder Josh Nisbet has been judged the A-League’s best player for the 2023-24 season. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Nisbet polled 36 points to finish seven clear of runner-up, Melbourne Victory striker Bruno Fornaroli, with Wellington Phoenix attacker Kosta Barbarouses a point further back in third place.

The young footballer of the year award was shared between Bayern Munich-bound prodigy Nestory Irankunda and Phoenix gloveman Alex Paulsen, who were both part of the A-League All-Stars squad that thrashed Newcastle United 8-0 on Friday night.

Paulsen, 21, was also named goalkeeper of the season and fans’ player of the year,

Mariners boss Mark Jackson won the coach-of-the-year award after guiding the Mariners to first place on the table, which earnt the club a spot in next season’s AFC Champions League Elite competition.

The Mariners also won the AFC Cup under the guidance of Englishman Jackson, who took charge of Central Coast in September following the departure of Nick Montgomery.

Other award winners included Golden Boot Adam Taggart, who scored 20 goals in 25 appearances for Perth Glory, and referee of the year Alex King.