SOME of Australia’s brightest young footballers have been nominated by their peers to contend for a number of prestigious individual accolades at the Professional Football Association (PFA) Players’ Awards.
The awards work to recognise the outstanding achievements of PFA members each season. Nominations are cast by the PFA Awards Committee, comprised of former players and figures in the Australia football media, highlighting the excellence put on show by each nominee to stand out from the crowd in 2021.
18 nominees will contest for four PFA Players’ Awards: the Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year for 2021. Of the 18 players in the running, 11 plied their trade in either the A-League or W-League in 2020/21, with all nominees bar Hibernian star Martin Boyle having played for an A-League or W-League club at some stage throughout their careers.
A-League stars of today take centre stage as nominees for the men’s awards are revealed, with Ulises Dávila, Jamie Maclaren and Curtis Good making up half of the contenders looking to join the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Aaron Mooy on a prestigious list of Men’s Footballer of the Year award winners.
All four nominees for the Harry Kewell Medal – awarded to the Men’s Young Footballer of the Year – played for A-League clubs throughout the most recent campaign, with Denis Genreau, Marco Tilio, Joel King and Connor Metcalfe putting their names in the hat after individually outstanding performances in 2020/21.
Nominees for Women’s Young Footballer of the Year can look to those in the mix for the Women’s Footballer of the Year award as inspiration for what’s to come for them in the years that follow.
All eight players in the running for the pair of awards have left their mark on the W-League in recent seasons, with Matildas legend Michelle Heyman, Dylan Holmes, Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter – who are in line for the Women’s Footballer of the Year Award – showing Young Footballer of the Year nominees Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin what’s possible should they continue to sparkle in the W-League for years to come.
PFA co-CEO Grace Gill says the special awards will shine a spotlight on the next generation of talent emanating from our domestic competitions.
“The PFA Players’ Awards are incredibly special to the players as they are peer voted and allow them to recognise the most outstanding performers within their profession,” Gill said.
“It’s wonderful that the nominees this year include a new generation of players who have emerged from the A-League and W-League, demonstrating our domestic leagues’ capacity to produce and nurture new talent.”
“Complementing those nominated from within the Australian competitions include an impressive list of players representing our sport on the global stage.
“We congratulate all of the nominees and wish them luck in the PFA’s player vote.”
Read on for all the nominees for each of the PFA Players’ Awards on offer.
Men’s Footballer of the Year
- Jamie Maclaren – Melbourne City FC
- Curtis Good – Melbourne City FC
- Nikita Rukavytsya – Without club (Maccabi Haifa in 2020/21)
- Ulises Dávila – Macarthur FC (Wellington Phoenix in 2020/21)
- Mitch Langerak – Nagoya Grampus
- Martin Boyle – Hibernian
Women’s Footballer of the Year
- Sam Kerr – Chelsea FC
- Ellie Carpenter – Olympique Lyonnais
- Michelle Heyman – Canberra United
- Dylan Holmes – BK Häcken (Adelaide United in 2020/21)
Harry Kewell Medal (Men’s Young Footballer of the Year)
- Connor Metcalfe – Melbourne City
- Joel King – Sydney FC
- Denis Genreau – Toulouse FC (Macarthur FC in 2020/21)
- Marco Tilio – Melbourne City
Women’s Young Footballer of the Year
- Mary Fowler – Montpellier
- Ellie Carpenter – Olympique Lyonnais
- Kyra Cooney-Cross – Melbourne Victory
- Courtney Nevin – Western Sydney Wanderers