AFC Awards

AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women): Hanae Shibata

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kuala Lumpur: Hanae Shibata's mature display at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup has earned the Japanese midfielder the women's AFC Youth Player of the Year Award.

Shibata played a key role in Japan's third-place finish in the tournament scoring three goals and assisting one.

Japan were one of the favourites in the tournament after topping the group with seven points from three matches. They went on to beat neighbours Korea Republic 3-1 in the quarter-final but were defeated by Germany 3-0 in the semi-final, setting up third-place playoff against Nigeria which they won 2-1.

"This award will definitely encourage me during my upcoming years in football, Shibata said after receiving her award from Ali Azim, AFC Executive Committee Member and Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee for Youth Competitions.

"At present I want to emulate Shinji Kagawa because he is a never tiring midfielder and I also play in the same position that Kagawa plays. I admire his work rate and dribbling skills.

"I am an Urawa Reds player and want to commit my future to the club as well as the Nadeshiko national team."