Australia’s football media named Socceroo Tim Cahill as Australia’s most outstanding international player for 2009-10 at the Australian Football Awards.

The Football Media Association (FMA) of Australia honoured Cahill, who played in 10 of the Socceroo’s 15 games in the period of the award. Cahill scored seven times in the green and gold including crucial goals in key matches.

“Starting with the match against Japan at the MCG in June last year when he scored two goals, Tim has always managed to ‘bring home the bacon’ for Australia when he’s needed,” said the President of the FMA, Steve Dettre of Infostrada Sports.

Dettre said Tim was instrumental in keeping Australia in the hunt for qualifying for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. “Tim scored the only goal in a torrid and tough match against Oman at Etihad Stadium in October last year. “At the time of that match, qualification for the 2011 Asian Cup was anything but certain and if we had not won, it would have just about put the Asian Cup out of reach for us,” Dettre said.

Instead, the Socceroos went on to qualify for their second appearance in the prestigious Asian competition to be held on Qatar in January. “Of course, our hearts also bled with Tim when he was red-carded in the first group game against Germany at this year’s World Cup. “Most neutral observers agree that the decision was tough. “But what impressed the FMA membership is that Cahill took it on the chin and he bounced back after serving his suspension to give us hope in the final group game. “He scored the opening goal with a trademark leap to head in a long cross and, with the rest of the team, turned on the inspiration and excitement for the media and all the fans in the stadium and watching at home.”

Cahill also played 43 matches scoring 17 goals for his English Premier League side, Everton, in 2009-10.

Cahill was presented with the FMA International Player of the Year Award by Dettre at the second annual Australian Football Awards in Sydney on Thursday this week. The Australian Football Awards are held in conjunction with the Professional Footballers Association awards to recognise the entire ‘football family’ from grassroots teams and volunteers through to the elite level.

“The FMA is delighted to be associated with the Australian Football Awards. “It is truly a wonderful occasion when football at all levels comes together, and the efforts of the wide range of people who are involved in the game are recognised and celebrated.”