Brett Holman, Lydia Williams and Mat Ryan are amongst the winners in this year’s Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Awards presented in Brisbane.
Holman and Williams won the PFA Player of the Year Award for men and women respectively, given for the outstanding performance of a player, and voted on by the wide network of PFA professional members.
“Brett Holman was a standout player for both his club, AZ Alkmaar, and the Socceroos in the past year,” said PFA President Simon Colosimo.
Holman polled 270 votes with Alex Brosque second with 176 votes and Adam Federici coming in 3rd with 154 votes.
“It’s pleasing to see some new names and faces amongst the winners and nominees,” Colosimo said.
“It’s indicative of the level of confidence fellow professionals have in the younger generation coming through which is so necessary for our continuing international success.”
Previous winners of the PFA Player of the Year Award since its introduction in 2009 have been Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and Matt McKay.
For the women’s award, Lydia Williams polled 59 votes to Caitlin Foord’s 22 and Elise Kellond-Knight’s 21.
“Lydia had an outstanding year, with her form for Canberra United being instrumental in helping Canberra win the W-League. She was equally impressive in the Olympic qualifiers keeping Australia in the match in several key fixtures,” said Colosimo.
Previous winners of the PFA women’s player award have been Servet Uzunlar and Kellond-Knight.
Central Coast’s Mat Ryan was awarded the Harry Kewell Medal for the most outstanding Under 23 player with 291 votes. Ryan is another goalkeeper who had an outstanding season for the minor premiers as well as the Olyroos.
Brisbane Roar tearaway, Mitch Nicholls was second with 217 votes and Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough and Australia) was 3rd with 192 votes.
Previous winners have been Nikita Rukavytsa, Mitch Langerak and Robbie Kruse.
Attending the lunchtime awards in Brisbane were many of the Qantas Socceroos who have been in camp for the past few weeks for the international Friendly against Denmark and the two World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Japan, as well as past Socceroos.
“Throughout the football world, one of the most prestigious individual honours a professional footballer can attain is to be voted as the best by his or her peers. The PFA Footballer of the Year and PFA Harry Kewell Medal awards are now established as an important component of recognising individual achievements of Australian players,” said PFA CEO, Brendan Schwab.
Other awards given out included the Kimon Taliadoros Scholarships and Craig Foster Media Scholarship.
The Kimon Taliadoros Scholarships were awarded to retiring Wellington Phoenix player, Tim Brown, who is taking up a scholarship at London School of Economics and Kliment Taseski who is studying for a Business-Law double degree at LaTrobe University.
The Craig Foster Media Scholarship was given to Jamie Harnwell who, in the past season, has been well received as an expert commentator on FOX Sports.
Each scholarship recipient receives $5,000.
The final presentation was to former Socceroo great and the only Australian man to coach Australia, Frank Farina, age 47.
Farina was awarded the Alex Tobin Medal which is the most prestigious of the PFA Awards, and given only to the true legends of the sport who have demonstrated leadership, achievements as a player, commitment to fellow professionals and service and dedication to the game.
Farina said he was “humbled, honoured and privileged” to receive the medal.
“It is something I value more highly than any other award I’ve received because of the others who have received it also.
Previous recipients of the Alex Tobin Medal are the late Johnny Warren, Joe Marston, Craig Johnston and Mark Viduka.
The PFA Awards were held in conjunction with the Football Media Association (FMA) Awards who presented their International Player Awards to Brett Holman and Caitlin Foord.
FMA President, Ray Gatt from The Australian said the FMA was delighted to link-up with the PFA.
“Players and coaches are our lifeblood in the media and we value a good and professional relationship with them as individuals as well as with the PFA” said Gatt.
“As people who watch every minute of every game the players play, we hope that our awards are valued and appreciated by PFA members.”
“Love them or hate them, the football media is part of the fabric of the game and has contributed to the development of football in Australia over many years,” Schwab added.
“They have an important role to play in advancing the understanding of the game while at the same time maintaining their independence and professionalism.”
The PFA Awards was presented with the support of PFA’s sponsors, LUCRF Super and the Adecco Group.
A copy of the program book for the Awards is attached.
See also FMA’s media release regarding their awards.
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