Todd makes it three straight
By MARK ROBINSON
WHEN Todd Gava left Lismore's Italo Stars to try his luck with Queensland Lions three years ago, most in the local soccer community thought he'd do well.
But few would have envisaged he would be an almost instant success and go on to win the Lions' best player award in his first year ? and his second and his third!
The tenacious central defender joins just two other Lions players who have won the award three times and, at 23, Gava still has an enormous future ahead of him.
The record holder is Steve Jackson, who won the Lions award four times in the 1980s and 1990s, while Andy Stowell won three in the same era.
A stunned Gava was presented with the prestigious Gary Wilkins Gold Medal by Wilkins himself in front of 400 presentation night dinner guests at the Lions' headquarters in Richlands, Brisbane, last week.
"This is a real shock," Gava said. "I missed six games with an injured knee late in the season and thought I was no chance."
The Lions continued their dominance of the XXXX League this year, winning all three men's and women's divisions.
They look strong contenders to enter the revamped national league next year.
"We set out at the start of the year to deliver results yet again and succeeded and ultimately we want to get the club on to the national soccer map," Gava said.
Gava juggles his full-time job as a sports store manager with training and playing commitments, but he would relish the chance to go professional.