Peter Simonoski is excited for his next chapter with Cringila after being named the Illawarra Premier League's top player on Friday night.
The Lions skipper - who recently inked a new deal with the club for next season - was awarded the IPL's highest individual honour, the George Naylor Medal, at Football South Coast's Men's Football Gala Night. Corrimal's Shinjiro Shibuya was the other finalist up for the award.
However, Simonoski couldn't be denied after enjoying an outstanding campaign with 'Crini'. He also picked up the league's Sharp-Shooter Award after scoring 30 goals during the regular season.
The 30-year-old joins the likes of fellow former Wollongong Wolves alumni Chris Price and Guy Knight as past winners of the George Naylor Medal.
"It's awesome to win, it's such a good feeling," Simonoski told the Mercury.
"At the start of the year, you don't expect to win these awards. But then we had a good year, and it's just a bonus to get this award."
Simonoski was instrumental in Cringila's impressive rise during this year's Premier League.
After finally booking their first finals spots in more than a decade last year, the Lions took their game to another level, challenging Albion Park for the championship race before eventually finishing the season in second spot.
Crini then caught fire during the finals series - including claiming an incredible come-from-behind win over the White Eagles to book their spot in the grand final. However, they just fell short of premiership glory, losing 1-0 to Coniston in the decider.
However, just weeks after that grand final defeat, Simonoski was quick to ink a fresh deal with the Lions.
"It was a no-brainer. I love everybody in the club and all of the players there. The majority of our team has re-signed, so we'll go again next year," the skipper said.
"We had such a good year but we just fell short of coming first. We were tied with Albion Park there until we faced them, then they kind of kicked away. We then did so well to go through the semis and get to the grand final, and we just fell short of that final hurdle.
"But we've got the team and everyone's re-signed for next year, so we'll come back even stronger and give it another good crack."
2023 Premier League award winners
George Naylor Medal: Peter Simonoski (Cringila).
Second Grade Player of Year: Aaron Baker (Bulli).
Youth Grade Player of Year: Josh Bussoletti (Corrimal).
Coach of the Year: George Antoniou (Albion Park).
Club Champions: Albion Park White Eagles.
Golden Glove Award: Kaydin Harrison (Coniston).
Fair Play Award: Bellambi Rosellas.
First Grade Sharp-Shooter of Year: Peter Simonoski (Cringila).
Second Grade Sharp-Shooter of Year: Kane Dorrian (Tarrawanna).
Youth Grade Sharp-Shooter of Year: Jayden Branovski (Port Kembla).
First Grade Champions: Albion Park White Eagles.
Second Grade Champions: Bulli FC.
Youth Grade Champions: Wollongong United.
Other major award winners
Referee of the Year: Andrew Naylor.
Service to Football Recipients: Wayne Settree (Tarrawanna), Matthew Naylor (Tarrawanna), Andrew Day (Oak Flats), Patrick McGouldrick (Balgownie), Paul Dallas (Balgownie), Paul Connery (Bulli), Doug Burazor (Albion Park).
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