AFC Women’s Player of the Year 2017: Samantha Kerr
Bangkok: Samantha Kerr became the third Australian in four years to claim the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award, capping an outstanding individual year for the star forward.
Kerr edged out Japanese captain Saki Kumagai and DPR Korea’s Sung Hyang-sim to claim the award for the first time, following a career-best year at both club and international level.
The honour, presented at a glittering AFC Annual Awards ceremony in Bangkok, is a just reward for a remarkable year-long purple patch, which has seen Kerr cement her position as one of the finest players in the global women’s game.
Nine international goals, including a hat-trick against Japan and doubles against Brazil and China PR, highlighted Kerr’s brilliant 2017, but just as impressive was her consistency, as she found net 34 times for club and country.
Kerr was awarded the Julie Dolan Medal as the outstanding player the Australian W-League in May, before joining Sky Blue FC in the American National Women’s Soccer League, where she scored 17 goals in 22 matches to claim the league’s official awards for top scorer and Most Valuable Player.
The 24-year-old also led the scoring charts as Australia won the inaugural Tournament of Nations title in August, following victories over the United States, Japan and Brazil.
Kerr will look to lead Australia to a second AFC Women’s Asian Cup final in Jordan next April, having scored in the final as a 16-year-old when the Matildas won their maiden Asian title in China in 2010.
"Firstly I'd like to say congratulations to the other two nominees, it has been a great year. Secondly, thank you AFC for this wonderful night, it has been a bit of a crazy year, but I just want to say thank you to the support staff that helped me throughout the year and most importantly to my teammates because without them, none of this would have been possible, so thank you." said Kerr.