Australian Football Stars Up for Asian Player Awards
In the realm of Asian football, the spotlight is firmly on the exceptional achievements of Australian talents Sam Kerr and Mathew Leckie, who have clinched nominations for the prestigious Player of the Year awards in their respective categories. Leading the pack in the women's category, Chelsea's dynamic striker Kerr finds herself in the illustrious company of China's Zhang Linyan and Japan's Saki Kumagai, the latter having previously secured the honor in 2019.
Meanwhile, in the men's category, Leckie, celebrated for his decisive goal against Denmark during the previous year's World Cup, securing Australia's berth in the knockout stages, stands shoulder to shoulder with Qatar's Almoez Ali and Saudi Arabia's Salem Al Dawsari.
Furthermore, the esteemed lineup of coaches vying for the best coach accolade features the Australian national team boss Graham Arnold, alongside Japan's Hajime Moriyasu, credited with engineering his team's victories over Germany and Spain in the World Cup, and Saudi Arabia's Saad Al Shehri, who steered the Asian title-winning under-23 team to glory last year.
Adding to the grandeur of the event, the Asian International Player of the Year award boasts a formidable trio of contenders: Iran's Mehdi Taremi, currently showcasing his talents at Porto, the Japanese sensation and Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma, and the accomplished Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae from South Korea.
Marking a significant comeback after a hiatus induced by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the much-anticipated awards ceremony is set to take place in Doha on the 31st of October, serving as a testament to the resilience and determination of the Asian football community.