Domestically and internationally, 2012 was a big year for several players.
Domestically and internationally, 2012 was a big year for several players. Whether shining in the W-League in a champion side, tearing it up in overseas competitions, scoring spectacular goals against the world's best or marking the world's best, several senior and U20s players made their mark in 2012.
Following hard deliberation, the TWG Team has democratically come up with a shortlist of players for the senior and U20 Player of the Year and now we turn it over to you the fans.
How were the nominees selected?
We asked the members of the TWG Team to pick their Top 3 players (senior and U20) for 2012. Three points went to their player of the year then 2 and 1 vote. All the votes were then collated and the three players, or in the case of the U20s four (it was hard okay), with the most votes have been shortlisted for you to select from.
How do you vote?
Just click here and vote for one player from each category and submit. It's that easy.
Voting closes 11.59pm (AEDST) on Friday, 11 January 2012.
For your troubles, six voters (chosen at random) will be given a signed poster of one of the players they voted for. So don't forget to put your email address at the end to be in the draw.
Player of the Year
Lisa De Vanna
By her standards 2011 was a disappointing year for Lisa De Vanna but 2012 saw the mercurial striker return to devastating form. The year didn’t start all that well for the 28 year old with her W-League team the Newcastle Jets unable to make the finals with an inconsistent season. However, after joining Swedish side Linköpings, things began to look up.
After the club's slow start, the striker was an instrumental part of a team that finished third in the highly competitive Damallsvenskan. Internationally she also stepped it up a level scoring two wonderful goals against the United States before continuing her red-hot goal-scoring streak in the East Asian Cup Qualifiers and the W-League to retain her mantle as Australia’s premier striker.
With Injury curtailing her for most of Season Four of the W-League, 2012 started late for Kyah Simon but boy did she make up for lost time. Signing with the Boston Breakers in the US WPSL Elite competition, the forward quickly adapted to prove an asset to her new side.
Her 12 goals for the Breakers including a hattrick (only the second in Breakers’ history) and numerous assists aided Boston in finishing on top of the regular season ladder as well as seeing Simon finish second in goals and points for the season.
Handed the Sydney FC captaincy, injuries and a revamped line up has seen Simon moved into a deeper position with a different but equally influential result.
When it comes to consistent performers in the W-League, it is hard to go past Sydney FC’s 154 cm general Teresa Polias. Polias is at the heart of the team on and off the pitch.
Since moving to the Sky Blues, the midfielder has beautifully played the anchor role whether screening the back four from attack or launching a Sydney attack. Pacy and skillful, Polias is a balanced player with great touch and even greater vision.
Her excellent 2011/12 W-League season saw her voted the Sydney FC Player of the Year as well claim her first cap against New Zealand in June. Coming off a NSW Women’s Premier League POTY season, Sydney’s pocket rocket has continued her wonderful form in Season Five without skipping a beat.
U20 Player of the Year
In 2012, 18 year old Stephanie Catley ably stepped into the big shoes of Elise Kellond-Knight at left back. Continuing in the Australia’s recent trend of converting strikers into attacking defenders, Catley has once again displays all the qualities of a modern full back (outside back) with her ball skill, pace and pin point crossing.
Despite a player of the match performance on debut against New Zealand, it wasn’t a faultless rise for Catley with a tough football lesson dished out by the World Champions Japan. However, most impressively, the Victory captain learnt from it and bounced back to be one Australia’s top performers on the US Tour, the EAFF Qualifiers and now in the W-League.
One by one the Matildas goalkeepers went down with long term injury (or pregnancy) leaving 17 year old Brianna Davey the last ‘keeper standing so to speak. With only the one W-League season behind her (albeit an excellent one), the question was; could she step up to the plate?
Thankfully the answer was yes.
Although not the finished product, a more confident Davey has become an imposing presence in the box with good positional awareness and shot stopping ability as well as developing football nous. Davey is a worthy addition to the pantheon of Australian goalkeepers.
It’s so easy to forget just how young and relatively experienced Caitlin Foord is. In last two years the right back has become an automatic starter for Sydney FC and the Matildas and it just seems like she has always been there.
2012 she once again displayed why she is one of the best young players in the world with her marauding forward forays as well as excellent defensive positioning and tackling.
In a season with many debutantes (some even older than her) and shifts in the defensive line, Foord has been a steady, dependable constant.
Like Foord, Hayley Raso burst onto the scene late in the W-League and has grown in stature since.
After coming off the bench for most of Season Four, Raso was given her chance late due an injury to Caitlin Munoz and the 18 year old did not squander the opportunity. Excellent performances in the W-League semi final and the grand final were rewarded with her first Matildas call up and not soon after her first cap.
Blessed with blistering pace, dribbling and turn of speed, with trademark ribbons fluttering, the striker tormented defences and has led the Canberra United forward line with her newly attained composure in front of goal.