Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Mia Bailey has won the Sue Monteath Award for QAS Player of the Year after a standout season in the NPL Queensland Women’s competition.
The 17-year-old goalkeeper was presented the prestigious award at a gala event at Victoria Park by Matildas legend Sue Monteath.
It caps off a tremendous year for the Cairns shot stopper, who signed her first professional contract in September.
Brisbane Roar Women Head Coach Garrath McPherson, who has coached Bailey at the QAS for the past three years, said it was a fitting reward for her focus and hard work.
“Mia has always been a very talented player, but she just seemed really determined to get the most out of this year,” said McPherson.
“She has always had an exceptional range of distribution, but her communication with her teammates definitely improved.
“She also worked really hard with our goalkeeper coach Brody Sams to improve her aerial ability. Whether it was dealing with crosses or shots that are above her eye-line, there was a clear change.”
Bailey, a product of Cairns club JCU Strikers, was identified by Football Queensland’s newly appointed QAS Director of Football David Da Silva.
“I first saw Mia at the 2018 National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour, where she won U14 Goalkeeper of the Tournament,” said Da Silva.
“She stood out straight away for her incredible bravery and excellent passing. We arranged to have her come down to train with the QAS in blocks before she made the move to Brisbane.”
Bailey has followed in the footsteps of previous Sue Monteath Award winners Jamilla Rankin and Holly McQueen by signing for Brisbane Roar.
McPherson, who took over as Head Coach of the Roar Women this season, said Bailey is proof that regional footballers can make it to the A-Leagues.
“Mia’s progression highlights the pathway and shows that you don’t have to be in South East Queensland to make it,” he said.
“The Roar have been open about its Queensland-first approach, and Mia is the best young goalkeeper we’ve got in the state.
“Mia now has the opportunity to work with Georgina Worth, who has been an A-League Women goalkeeper for five or six years.
“I have no fears or concerns about putting Mia on the field in an A-League Women’s game this season.”
2021 QAS Award Winners
Players’ Player Award – Rosie McMahon
QAS Standards and Behaviours Award – Mackenna Magill
Players’ Player Award – Cleo Trevett-Lyall
QAS Standards and Behaviours Award – Kajal Mistry
Players’ Player Award – Sian Costigan
QAS Standards and Behaviours Award – Georgia Dean
Players’ Player Award – Halle Nielsen
QAS Standards and Behaviours Award – Heidi Dennis
Players’ Player Award – Abbi Taylor
QAS Standards and Behaviours Award – Ellen Gett
QAS Standards and Behaviours Award – Mia Bailey
Jonti Fisher (21 goals)
Sue Monteath Award