Sydney, Nov 1 (Ajit Weekly News) Football Australia expressed joy over the news that Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr won the AFC Player of the Year Award, on Wednesday.
According to the national governing body for football, the recognition underscores Kerr’s exceptional dedication and contributions to the sport, marking her as one of the elite players not just in Asia, but globally, reports Xinhua.
Having become just the third AFC women’s footballer to win the award more than once, the 30-year-old striker is also the first Australian player – male or female – to claim one of Asia’s top prizes on multiple occasions.
The award win came less than 24 hours after Kerr picked up second place in the race for the Ballon d’Or Feminin, her best-ever finish for the title, which recognizes the world’s best female footballer.
Parallel to this individual achievement, Football Australia has been presented with the AFC President’s Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in Gold Category.
“From the dazzling achievements of players like Sam Kerr to the tireless efforts invested in grassroots, we are making strides on every level. It’s heartening to see our vision, hard work, and dedication acknowledged on the Asian stage,” said James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia.
Football Australia also extended congratulations to Australian match officials Chris Beath, Anton Shchetinin, and Ashley Beecham who earned the AFC Referees Special Award.
Unable to attend the ceremony held in Doha, Qatar, Kerr is currently leading the Matildas in the hunt for a Group A top spot in the second round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
After bagging a second-half goal for Australia’s 2-0 victory over Iran, Kerr delivered a hat-trick wowing nearly 60,000 hometown fans in Perth before the Matildas sealed an 8-0 triumph against the Philippines.
Australia will take on Chinese Taipei in their final game of the second-round Asian qualifiers at Perth’s HBF Park, on Wednbesday.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S