Before the awards ceremony began, the academy players, their parents and the coaches had a great time together playing football and jumping on a large inflatable obstacle course.
Presentations and speeches were delivered by board member Jeremy Thirkell, club president Slava Meyn and head of coaching and methodology Michiel Buursma. The ceremony was opened by president of Christchurch United club Slava Meyn. Slava thanked all the players and parents for the past good season and for attending the event. He also shared the latest great news that Christchurch United is moving towards becoming a multi-sport club and therefore Christchurch United Cricket Club will start sessions from the 4th term. The Christchurch United Gymnastic Club was also established and rhythmic gymnastics classes are already scheduled to open on October 26.
The president separately thanked the coaching staff for the great work done and also paid special thanks to Michiel Buursma, Joe Cole and Deb Foord for their invaluable, constant support of the club.
Following the prizegiving’s opening, each Christchurch United team were invited onto the stage, where their head coach presented a summary of their season and individual award winners were announced before receiving their appropriate trophy.
Respect – Finn Treacy
Passion – Oscar Boyd
Discipline – Rigved Renji Neethu
Passion: Patrick O’Bryne
Respect: Noah Dysart
Discipline: Liam Derry
Passion – Ali Rafyee
Discipline - Domenico Fricker
Respect - Wayne Guo
Respect – Aidan Bradford
Passion – Perry Gendall
Discipline – Dimitri Kornienko
Respect – Ezekiel Nakaroti
Passion – Draved Henry
Responsibility – Baxter Coughlan
Discipline – Jasper Robinson
Unity/Leadership – Henry Murfitt
Respect – Seamus Gallagher
Passion – Josh Dempster
Responsibility - Nicholas Murphy
Discipline – Morgan Kilkenny
Unity/Leadership – Matthew Foord
Passion – Thomas Chao
Discipline – Edward Belingher
Intelligence – Hugo Debenhan
Unity/Leadership – Phoenix Coursey
Respect – Matthew Duncan
Responsibility – Diego Lavin
Discipline – Daniel Meyn
Unity/Leadership – Luke Pennington
In addition to the player awards, Christchurch United showed their appreciation to two standout coaches within 2020.
Junior Coach of the Year — Lew Gordon.
About Lew: Our Junior Coach of the Year is quiet, caring, clear in his instructions, keen for players to make their own decisions and solve problems on the field. He always puts 100% into all his trainings. Some comments from his players include: he is a fantastic coach, he takes time to explain things, he does not shout from the side-line and he is kind and funny. He has drawn out the absolute best in each player, tested them in different positions and built a team that really plays great football.
Senior Coach of the Year — Jude Fitzpatrick.
About Jude. He has achieved his ‘C’ Licence Qualification this year. He coached his team to be CUDL Cup Winners. Jude’s team won the CIC Cup for their age group. He is extremely passionate about his football and likes to see great football being played. Some comments from some of his players — he cares, he wants the best from us, he is always prepared and ready for our trainings, he is funny and serious, he is just the best coach ever! From a parent — “Our son really enjoyed his time with you and is really engaged with you. He feels proud that defensively the team only conceded 1 goal. That is a credit to you too. He has turned the team around.”
That concluded the prizegiving for 2020. You may not have received an award but you are all amazing players, with a lifetime of football ahead of you. Take every opportunity you are offered. The club’s 50th Anniversary organisers also invited all guests to the Yaldhurst Hotel for the screening of the 50-minute documentary ‘Boys in Blue’ CUFC. The documentary included footage and interviews from United’s and New Zealand’s greatest players including Steve Sumner, Ryan Nelsen, Bobby Almond, Ben Sigmund, Ceri Evans and many more. If you want to learn about the great players, this is a must-see for all Christchurch United players and supporters.