2023–24 SFCU Player of the Season results

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The 2023–24 season for Sydney FC men’s team saw some early silverware, a change in manager followed by plenty of ups and downs, and ended in Gosford with a rare goalless draw.

The annual clear-out has already happened, and all that remains before we turn our focus to next season is the most glamourous night on the Australian football calendar: the release of the SFCU Player of the Season results.

So fasten your bow tie, shine your shoes and settle into your lounge…


Before we get to the main announcement, as always I need to throw the focus onto the voters. Without a decent number voters, this award wouldn’t work. So thanks to every one of the 75 people who submitted a vote this season, whether it was via a beer-soaked phone in the drunken moments after an injury-time winner, or after some heavy contemplation while struggling through the replay of a dour loss. Massive thanks to the seven people who voted in every single match, three of whom are on their fifth or sixth season of such a streak!

This season we had a total of 945 votes across the 35 competitive matches, including the Australia Cup and A-League Men. The average of 27 per match is a bit down on the last few seasons, but not quite at the lowest levels we’ve seen. Hopefully the trend doesn’t continue.

Looking over the course of the season, it was positive that the voting rates didn’t seem to decline substantially with time. In fact, the numbers beyond match #30 were among the highest that we’ve seen in seasons that have lasted that long.


So, onto the results:

Joe Lolley is your 2023–24 SFCU Player of the Season!

Lolley took 11 MOTMs,1 4 second places and 6 thirds to earn a total of 46.5 points. Remarkably, he is the first player to win this award in back-to-back seasons, adding it to his bevy of accolades in 2023–24: the Sydney FC Men’s Player of the Year, Sydney FC Member’s Player of the Year, joint Sydney FC Golden Boot, the Mark Viduka Medal, the Alex Tobin Medal, the Tomas Dale Medal and a spot in the PFA Team of the Season.2

Behind Lolley there was an enormous gap3 back to Anthony Cáceres in second place. Cáceres picked up 4 MOTMs, 4 seconds and 4 thirds to tally 24 points. It was a good turnaround for the 2021–22 winner, having dropped to 16th place in last season’s table with only 2 points.

The gap back to third was much smaller: Hayden Matthews finishing an outstanding half-season with 4 MOTMs,4 5 seconds and 2 thirds to earn a total of 23.5 points. Had he started playing earlier in the season, he might possibly have been able to challenge for Lolley’s title, having finished in the top 3 at a slightly higher rate than the Englishman (64.7% vs 63.6%) and taken a very similar number of points per appearance (1.38 vs 1.41).

2019–20 winner and departing captain Luke Brattan also picked up 4 MOTMs to take him into fourth place, with 20 points. He was followed by Jake Girdwood-Reich on 16 (2 MOTMs), Fábio Gomes on 13 (1 MOTM), Jaiden Kucharski on 11 (1 MOTM), Gabriel Lacerda on 10 (2 MOTMs) and Jordan Courtney-Perkins on 9.5 (3 MOTMs!).

Closing out the top 10 was Andrew Redmayne (7 points; 2 MOTMs), a bit of a drop from his fourth place in 2022–23. Just behind him were last season’s second- and third-placegetters Róbert Mak (6.5 points; 1 MOTM) and Max Burgess (4 points, 1 MOTM).

Those twelve players were the only ones to win MOTMs across the season, but others to pick up points were Jack Rodwell (13th; 4 points), Zac De Jesus (14th; 4 points), Kealey Adamson (15th; 4 points), Corey Hollman (16th; 2.5 points), Patrick Wood (17th; 2 points), Joel King (18th; 2 points) and Rhyan Grant (19th; 0.5 points). Beyond them were players separated by the number of votes they received: mainly youngsters who only saw a handful of minutes.

The full results for every match, and the final standings can be found here.

The graph below shows the story of Player of the Season points over time, clearly showing the unassailable lead that Joe Lolley opened up early and then maintained despite a bit of a slow-down near the start of the second half of the season. Hayden Matthews’ steep rise that started around that time is also apparent, as he surpassed defensive partner Jake Girdwood-Reich, who earned the bulk of his points a little earlier.

Other stats and final words

Notch another one up for the foreigners. Now, 9 of the 13 SFCU Player of the Season awards have been won by visa players, with 11 of them won by players born outside Australia. And yes, I will probably repeat this stat every season until (/ if?) it starts evening out.

Joe Lolley also had the highest vote share in a single match this year, for his two-goal performance in Ufuk Talay’s first match in charge, the 5-1 demolition of Adelaide away. He was awarded an average of 2.86 votes by the 36 voters. That tally is the 37th-highest in the 430-match history of this voting, although this is just the second season5 in which no player has breached the 3.00 barrier. Jaiden Kucharski of course also scored a brace in the same match, and might consider himself pretty unlucky to come in second with an average of 2.03 votes, higher than that earned by 25 of our MOTMs this season.

During the season, a question came up on SFCU as to whether the vote spread had increased in recent seasons compared to the “Arnold golden years”. At the time I did a quick analysis of vote variability over time so I thought I would share an updated version here. The graph below shows a point for every match since SFCU voting started,6 with the y-axis being the concentration of votes towards fewer players for that match. “Concentration” is measured by the variance in the votes across players who appeared in that match, with substitute votes bundled together as if they belonged to one player7. The minimum concentration comes when every player gets an equal share of the votes,8 and the maximum concentration comes when one player (or the substitutes combined) gets all six votes with everyone else getting zero.9 Each manager’s initials over the time are marked on the x-axis at their first match in charge, and a few notable performances — the matches with the three highest concentrations, and also the match with the greatest spread — are highlighted.

A rolling average is plotted over the top. In all, there seems to be very little trend over time: the concentration might be getting smaller (i.e., the spread getting larger) very slowly, but there’s certainly been no step-change since Arnold’s time in charge. It does look like the concentration was generally higher during Vítězslav Lavička’s final season and Ian Crook’s short stint, and it’s clear that there were more games with high concentrations during that time. That might point to some true phenomenon where votes tend to concentrate towards a few players in terrible performances compared to being spread out in good performances. But there might also be some relationship with the number of voters, which was much higher back then than it is now.

To finish up, thanks to you for reading this far, thanks again to everyone who voted during the season and big thanks to Grant, Alex and James for keeping the SFCU community together and the voting system up-and-running.10 See you next season!


  1. one shared, with Hayden Matthews
  2. along with Jake Girdwood-Reich and Anthony Cáceres, who were on the bench
  3. the second-largest gap there has been between 1st and 2nd in the history of the award, after Nick Carle in 2011–12
  4. one shared, with Joe Lolley
  5. after 2020–21, where the highest tally was 2.88 by Ryan McGowan, also away in Adelaide
  6. in 2011–12, Vítězslav Lavička‘s final season
  7. the aim being to lessen any distortion due to the change from 3 to 5 subs, and also account for the fact that substitutes tend to pick up fewer votes anyway
  8. a variance of zero
  9. a variance of 11/4 = 2.75. Show your working.
  10. Join the SFCU Patreon to show your support, if you can.

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