Gyan and Jedinak land AFC awards
Manila: Consistency and excellence were key factors behind the naming of Asamoah Gyan and Mile Jedinak as this year’s recipients of the AFC Foreign Player of the Year and International Player of the Year awards respectively.
Ghana skipper Gyan was 2014 AFC Champions League top scorer as he bagged 12 goals to help Al Ain reach the tournament’s semi-finals where they lost 4-2 on aggregate to competition runners-up Al Hilal.
For Jedinak, the award follows a superb run as Australia’s captain and his new promotion to captaincy for Premier League side Crystal Palace where he recently helped the team end a five-game losing streak by sealing a 3-1 win over Liverpool.
AFC Cup semi-finalist Kitchee’s Juan Carlos Rodrigues Belencoso and Al Jazira’s Abdelaziz Barrada were also nominated for AFC Foreign Player of the Year award while Jedinak’s compatriot and national teammate Tim Cahill and Swansea City’s Ki Sung-yeung were up for the International Player of the Year award.
In other categories, Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh was named as AFC Futsal Player of the Year after collecting the 2014 AFC Futsal Championship’s MVP title where his Iran team narrowly missed winning the trophy.
Iran lost 3-0 in a penalty shootout to Japan following a 2-2 result in regulation time, making Japan the 2014 winners of the AFC Futsal Championship and this year’s AFC Futsal Team of the Year award.
Other awards saw Matthew Cream of Australia and Korea Republic’s Kim Kyoung-min named as AFC Assistant Referee of the Year (men and women).
The AFC Women’s National Team of the Year and Youth Player of the Year was presented prior to the 30 November event.
An emphatic triumph in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup earned Japan the 2014 AFC Women’s National Team of the Year award, after they swept to glory in Costa Rica with a 100% record as the Young Nadeshiko also claimed the Fair Play Award as well as three individual accolades including the adidas Golden Ball award picked up by skipper Hina Sugita.
Sugita’s standout performance throughout Japan’s victorious campaign has earned the Young Nadeshiko playmaker the AFC Women’s Youth Player of the Year award.
The two awards were given out by AFC Vice President and Women’s Committee Chairperson Moya Dodd during a three-day AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2014 Workshop in Kuala Lumpur in early November.
AFC U-19 Championship 2014 MVP, Ahmad Moein, was named this year’s AFC Youth Player of the Year following his flawless effort in leading Qatar to their first win at the tournament after stunning DPR Korea by recording a narrow 1-0 win last September.