Wanderers star Harding wins Julie Dolan Medal

Anna Harrington |

Sophie Harding has won the Julie Dolan Medal as the A-League Women player of the season.
Sophie Harding has won the Julie Dolan Medal as the A-League Women player of the season.

Western Sydney striker Sophie Harding didn’t believe she was ever a chance of winning a Julie Dolan Medal until the moment she received it on A-League Women grand final day.

Harding claimed the competition’s highest individual honour with 26 votes, ahead of Western United star Chloe Logarzo (21) and Sydney FC jet Cortnee Vine (20).

The 24-year-old forward notched 12 goals and four assists for the Wanderers, setting a club record for most goals in a season.

Harding’s exploits also earned her a first Matildas call-up in February.

She was presented with the Julie Dolan Medal at halftime of Saturday’s grand final between Melbourne City and Sydney FC at AAMI Park, after the Australian Professional Leagues opted not to hold an awards night.

“I actually like did not even think I was gonna get this award, I was just standing there like ‘why am I actually standing here?'” a shaking Harding told reporters after receiving the medal.

“Like I thought maybe I was getting joint goal of the season or something.

“I did not think I would ever even in my wildest dreams be getting this award. So it’s crazy.

“Unreal. So many things have come together for me this year on and off the pitch.

“I’ve had so many good opportunities and I’ve just really made people around me proud which I’m so happy about and to get this honour has just topped it off.”

Harding paid tribute to her late father after winning the award.

“That’s why I started crying up there because honestly, this whole season he’s just been in the back of my head,” she said.

“I’ve just been wanting to make him proud and I honestly like think he would just be so proud up above right now.

“It just makes me so emotional to think about it, but I’m just so grateful.”

City young gun Daniela Galic, 17, was named young player of the season having scored seven goals in 22 games to help City to the premiership and grand final.

Matildas striker Heyman won her third golden boot for her 17 goals.

Central Coast coach Emily Husband collected the coach of the season award for guiding the Mariners to a semi-final in their first season back in the competition.


* Julie Dolan Medal leaderboard

1. Sophie Harding (Western Sydney Wanderers) – 26 votes

2. Chloe Logarzo (Western United) – 21 votes

3. Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC) – 20 votes

4. Michelle Heyman (Canberra United) – 19 votes

5. Sarina Bolden (Newcastle Jets) – 19 votes

6. Tameka Yallop (Brisbane Roar) – 18 votes

* Young player of the season: Daniela Galic (Melbourne City)

* Golden boot: Michelle Heyman (Canberra United)

* Coach: Emily Husband (Central Coast Mariners)

* Goalkeeper: Morgan Aquino (Perth Glory)

* Goal: Cass Davis (Newcastle Jets)

* Save: Brianna Edwards (Wellington Phoenix)

* Playmaker: Alyssa Whinham (Wellington Phoenix)

* Referee: Casey Reibelt

* Fans’ player: Mariana Speckmaier (Wellington Phoenix)