Matildas attacking midfielder Caitlin Foord has been named the 2016 AFC Women’s Player of the Year.
The 22 year old claimed the award ahead of Matildas teammate Lisa De Vanna and Chinese midfielder Tan Ruyin at the Asian Football Confederation Annual Awards.
— The Women’s Game (@TheWomensGame) December 1, 2016
“I would like to start of by congratulating Lisa and Tan also on an amazing year,” said Foord on being named the best player in Asia.
“I wasn’t really expecting this to be honest.”
— Caitlin Foord (@CaitlinFoord) December 1, 2016
Foord’s 2016 has seen her overcome injury to be one of the key players for the Matildas during their AFC Women’s Olympics preparation and campaign.
Transitioning from her well known defensive role into an offensive threat, Foord scored three goals for Australia – including against eventual Olympic gold medallists Germany – and produced a career best six assists.
— Lisa De Vanna (@lisadevanna11) December 1, 2016
Foord is the 2011 FIFA Best Young Player at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and becomes the second player after China’s Ma Xiaoxu to capture the rare AFC double after being named the AFC Young Player of the Year in 2011.
“I would like to thank the FFA, Staj [Alen Stajcic], the rest of my Matildas teammates. Me winning this trophy reflects on obviously an amazing year us Matildas have had. I’m taking this on behalf of all of them”
“Lastly, I would like to thank my Mum and my sister for all their support. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
The Sydney FC forward becomes just the third Australian to claim the prize and the second in three years as she joins Kate Gill (2010) and Katrina Gorry (2014).
— moya dodd (@moyadodd) December 1, 2016
In the other awards, Australian officiating duo Kate Jacewicz and Renae Coghill were recognised alongside India’s Uvena Fernandes for the AFC Referees Special Award 2016.
The trio were the AFC team to officiate the final of the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup with Jacewicz the first Australian since Tammy Ogston on 2007 to wield the whistle in the final of a FIFA tournament.
“Renae and Uvena are consummate professionals. During training and preparation, they have always given 100% and they are extremely committed to ensuring that we work well as a unit,” she said.
“My ultimate aim is to officiate at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France.”
“In the meantime, I am taking it one step at a time and will continue studying our elite referees and AFC instructors.”
Yeow, congratulations @CaitlinFoord . You done the double ????????
— Sam Kerr (@samkerr1) December 1, 2016
— Emily Van Egmond (@Em_surf) December 1, 2016
— Caitlin Cooper (@caitlincooper02) December 1, 2016
YASSS @CaitlinFoord well deserved ???????????????????????? keep doing what you’re doing
— Lydia Williams (@lydsaussie) December 1, 2016
Go Caity go! So well deserved ???????????????????? @CaitlinFoord
— Stephanie Catley (@stephcatley) December 1, 2016
AFC Women’s Player of the Year Winners
|1999||Sun Wen||China PR|
|2003||Bai Jie||China PR|
|2006||Ma Xiaoxu||China PR|
|2007||Ri Kum-suk||DPR Korea|
|2013||Ji So-yun||Korea Republic|