On the eve of a new A-League season, Perth Glory and Socceroos winger Chris Ikonomidis has received another accolade for his achievements on both domestic and international stages for the 2018/19 season.
This week his peers named him the recipient of Professional Footballers Australia’s (PFA) U23 Men’s Footballer of the Year, also known as the Harry Kewell medal.
He received the award from former Socceroos great, Stan Lazaridis who was also a teammate of Kewell’s.
It is the second award for Ikonomidis in recognition of his memorable season last year, after being named A-League Young Footballer of the Year.
He scored nine A-League goals and provided five assists in 20 games for Perth Glory last season, earning him a call-up to the Socceroos’ 2019 Asian Cup Finals campaign in the United Arab Emirates, during which he featured in all five of the Socceroos’ matches, including scoring a goal against Syria.
The winger received the award ahead of a talented field of nominees, including Awer Mabil, Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Sapreet Singh.
“To have this kind of recognition from my peers is special and for me it’s the highest honour when players you play against give you that award,” Ikonomidis said.
“It’s also special winning an award with Harry Kewell’s name on it. He was an idol of mine growing up and a reason I wanted to become a footballer.
“This award is special because it’s voted on by people who know football at the professional level and people who I have played with and against.”
Meanwhile Socceroos and Brighton keeper Matt Ryan was named the PFA’s Men’s Footballer of the Year.
Awarded on Monday evening, Ryan received the medal from former Socceroo Brett Holman at a dinner with his Socceroos team mates ahead of Thursday evening’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Nepal in Canberra.
It is the second time Ryan has received the award, having also won the title in 2015.
On the night, the PFA and FFA announced a new award initiative that will be known as the Dylan Tombides Australian Youth Player of the Year Medal, to honour the memory of the Australian Youth International who tragically passed away from cancer in 2014.
The medal will be awarded to the best player from the Joeys (U17s), Young Socceroos (U20s) and Olyroos (U23s).
The late player’s father, Jim Tombides was presented with the new medal on Monday evening. The winner of the new award will be announced later this year.