Socceroo Mark Schwarzer was named Australia’s 2010 Footballer of the Year at the 2010 Australian Football Awards on Thursday night.
Other major winners were Tim Cahill, who won the Australian International Player of the Year, as voted by the Australian football media while Socceroo Tommy Oar was the U20 Footballer of the Year for 2010.
In its second consecutive year, the Australian Football Awards incorporating the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and Football Media Association of Australia (FMA) awards is a highly anticipated annual fixture on the football calendar.
The Awards brings together the Socceroos, Matildas and the grass roots football community, providing a unique opportunity to recognise and reward outstanding achievements at all levels of the game.
“We received many nominations from around the country, across a range of categories, and were very impressed with the quality of nominations submitted. This is a testament to the popularity and continued growth of football in Australia,” said Football Federation Australia CEO, Ben Buckley.
All winners of the 2010 Australian Football Awards were announced at the gala Awards ceremony in front of 450 guests.
In the professional category, Socceroo Mark Schwarzer together with Matilda and Brisbane Roar player, Clare Polkinghorne secured the 2010 Footballer of the Year title.
Meanwhile rising stars, Socceroo Tommy Oar and Perth Glory’s Sam Kerr were named U20 Footballer of the Year for 2010.
And in the non professional category teams, volunteers, coaches and referees from around the nation were all vying for the top prize.
Senior team The University of Wollongong Hippos from NSW and youth team, Holland Park Hawks FC U14 from Queensland, took home the 2010 Team of the Year honours for their on and off the field achievements.
Australia enjoys a strong volunteer culture and the notion of volunteering is no exception when it comes to football but it was Laurelle Sommers from Victoria that was recognised for her dedication to volunteering. Meanwhile Michelle Castle from Tasmania and Asefa Woldemariam from Western Australia were rewarded for their outstanding coaching performance. On the refereeing front, Patrick Galloway from Tasmania was awarded 2010 Referee of the Year title for his commitment to refereeing.
Winners of the PFA and FMA awards were also revealed at the gala Awards ceremony, at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth in Sydney.
FMA Australian International Player of the Year went to Tim Cahill, as voted by the Australian football media.
Australia’s elite professional footballers at home and around the world have also voted for their outstanding peers in the PFA Awards.
The PFA Footballer of the Year went to Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who received 392 votes from his fellow professionals, just ahead of last year’s winner, Everton star Tim Cahill, who received 385 votes. Socceroos and AZ Alkmaar attacking midfielder Brett Holman was third with 196 votes.
The PFA Harry Kewell Medal for the best young player was awarded to another goalkeeper – former Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, now with German giant Borussia Dortmund.
His 299 votes saw him head off Adelaide United’s Matthew Leckie (270) and FC Utrecht’s Tommy Oar (253).
In addition, former Matildas skipper Cheryl Salisbury presented the players’ association’s inaugural PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year award to Servet Uzunlar, a star defender for the Matildas in their Asian Cup triumph, who received 39 votes from her Matildas’ team mates. Matildas skipper and goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri was runner up with 29, ahead of Elise Kellond-Knight, the Brisbane Roar midfielder, with 26 votes.