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Memories of 2017: Sam Kerr’s annus mirabilis

How do you even begin to describe the year Sam Kerr just produced on the park?

Since debuting as a 15 year old in the W-League and for the Matildas, it was evident that Kerr had the raw materials to become a world class player.

For those who have followed the W-League since inception, glimpses of her potential were on display at various times. In fact, that backflip celebration has been the stuff of W-League legend!

After a horror injury run in the preceding 24 months, there was little indication that 2017 would be the year that Kerr would join the conversation of the world’s best players.

It started really at the end of 2016 as she scored a host of goals for Perth Glory in the W-League.  That continued into 2017 as the Glory captain helped them into the W-League Grand Final where they fell to Melbourne City.

Following that W-League season Kerr had a quiet Algarve Cup where she did not make an impact on the scoreboard.  She also was quiet for the first couple of games for NWSL side Sky Blue FC.

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Kerr returned to Australia in April for the Dolan Warren Awards where she was crowned the Julie Dolan Medallist for the 2016/17 W-League Player of the Year.

Upon returning to the United States, the forward scored her first goal for Sky Blue and the rest, as they say, was history.

In 2017, it wasn’t just the goalscoring that took Kerr’s game to another level, it was also the capacity to bring other players into the game.  Often she was the creative force for her teams with a number of assists and on many occasions she opened up the attack with a crucial run.

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In the end Kerr scored 39 goals in 2017 for clubs and country with a host of records broken and accolades coming her way.

Here is a sample of the list:

  • 2017 Julie Dolan Medal (W-League)
  • 43 goals –  All-Time Regular Season Leading Goalscorers (NWSL)
  • Golden Boot with 17 goals – single season record (NWSL)
  • 2x Player of the Month (NWSL)
  • 4x Team of the Month – 4 consecutive months (NWSL)
  • 3x Player of the week (NWSL)
  • NWSL Team of the Year
  • 2017 Most Valuable Player (NWSL)
  • 11 goals for the Matildas – scored in a record 6 consecutive matches
  • FIFA “The Best” nominee – first Australian to be shortlisted
  • 2017 PFA Medal for Player of the Year
  • 2017 Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year
  • 2017 ABC Sports Personality of the Year
  • 2017 AFC Women’s Player of the Year
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