At the end of each year, Alberta Soccer takes the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals from the past Alberta Major Soccer League season. As the 2017 season wrapped up, each team nominated both a player and coach from their squad who demonstrated exceptional skill and leadership. Based on these nominations, the teams voted to award a Coach of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Year on both the men’s and women’s side.
Alberta Soccer is proud to announce the winners in each of these categories:
Women’s Coach of the Year | Rick Haxby, Edmonton Victoria
Rick Haxby is a fixture in the Alberta Soccer community. He began with the Association as the original Alberta Soccer staff coach in 1978, and when the AMSL began in the 90s, he participated as both a player and coach. When discussing his success on-field, Rick counts himself as fortunate, “I’ve had so many excellent players on my team, but they’re also excellent people. The winning comes naturally when they play with a smile on their faces.”
This isn’t the first time Rick has been awarded the Coach of the Year honour – and it’s for good reason. For him, it isn’t about gaining recognition for himself. Rather, it’s more meaningful that his players succeed. He explains, ” My players are more than just members of my team now – they’re my family. It’s most important for me to see them receiving recognition.”
Women’s Player of the Year | Nikole Byrne, Edmonton Victoria
Nikole began playing with Edmonton Victoria Women’s Major over four years (and seven seasons) ago. During that time with the team, she has won at Nationals three times: in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Not surprisingly, this “has definitely been the highlight” for her during her time in the AMSL.
Her coach, Rick Haxby explained, “Winning is always a team effort, and the group as a whole was incredibly consistent this year. Over the regular season, considering minutes played and consistency, Nikole deserved this Player of the Year award and I’m proud to see her recognized.”
Men’s Coach of the Year | Martin Andersen, Green and Gold
Martin has coached with Green and Gold in the AMSL since 2014-15. He has also coached with Edmonton Juventus Soccer Club since 2010 and the University of Alberta since 2013.
For Martin, who appreciates the opportunity to work with a young and motivated group of players every week, the most notable achievement during his time in the AMSL is reaching the provincial final for three consecutive years.
Men’s Player of the Year | Ian Greedy, Calgary Callies
Ian grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, playing for club and provincial teams as a youth. In 2009, he represented Nova Scotia at the Canada Games, after which time he went on to play University soccer in Cape Breton – receiving many awards for his achievements there. Most exceptional was winning the Atlantic University Sports (AUS) MVP in 2013 as well as holding the record for the most goals scored as a “Caper” (42 season goals). Ian has played with the Calgary Callies since 2016.
Congratulations to each of you – Alberta Soccer is proud to see such exceptional individuals participating and leading in the AMSL!