It was a year that started with pain but ended in triumph for Matildas forward Caitlin Foord.
Foord’s 2016 started with an awkward fall resulting in a broken collarbone. Not only did it end her W-League season early, it also meant the 22 year old would be fighting to be fit for the 2016 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers.
While she had limited game time towards the back end of Australia’s qualification, Foord displayed some of the form that she would take through 2016.
Choosing to remain in Australia instead of heading to the USA for a fourth NWSL season, a rejuvenated Foord entered the Matildas Olympic campaign in top form.
First as the catalyst of Australia’s win in the first match of the Trans Tasman series with her brace in the first game proving the difference against New Zealand.
In the Olympics Foord as again one of Australia’s biggest creative and attacking threats. Her bursting runs produced chance after chance as Australia dominated eventual Olympic Gold Medallists Germany.
The forward set up the Matildas first goal against Germany and scored the second in a Player of the Match performance.
All in all, Foord scored three goals for Australia and produced a career best six assists.
December saw recognition for her 2016 as she became the third Australian to be named the AFC Women’s Player of the Year and just the second person to claim the AFC Youth and Senior player of the year awards.
Wow what a honour, overwhelmed with messages! A big thank you to my coaches, family, friends, fans who continue to support me and drive me to wanna be better ???? but most importantly my teammates I wouldn't be the player I am today without all you around me making me look good, I'm bringing this trophy home on behalf of the Matilda's ???????? #AFCawards2016