Australian football’s stellar year has been recognised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) with nominations in five categories of the AFC Annual Awards 2015 Ceremony to be held on Sunday 29 November 2015 in New Delhi, India.
Highlighted by the Socceroos’ successful and history making AFC Asian Cup 2015™ triumph on home soil, Australia features in the shortlist for five awards – AFC Member Association of the Year, AFC National Team of the Year (Socceroos), AFC Coach of the Year (Ange Postecoglou), AFC Women’s Player of the Year (Elise Kellond-Knight) and AFC Asian International Player of the Year (Massimo Luongo).
Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop, who will attend the awards in India along with newly elected FFA Chairman Steven Lowy AM, says the recognition demonstrates the progression and enormous strides football in Australia has made in 2015.
“To have nominees for five awards is fantastic and something we as a country and a sport should be extremely proud of,” said Gallop.
“Football in this country is in a strong and healthy position, highlighted by these nominations. 2015 has been a momentous one for Australian football, which all started with the successful hosting of the AFC Asian Cup which demonstrated the game’s potential and the quality of our footballers across Asia.
“Regardless of who wins the respective awards on the night, it shows that Australian football is continuing to move forward in leaps and bounds.”
The Socceroos are in the running to be named AFC National Team of the Year after becoming the first host nation to win the AFC Asian Cup, coupled with the team’s impressive results this year in the first stage of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 which sees them currently top of their group.
The Socceroos’ success and performances in 2015 has also seen Head Coach Ange Postecoglou selected as one of the nominees for the AFC Coach of the Year.
Since the start of the Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup 2015 campaign, Postecoglou has overseen nine wins from 11 matches and seen Australia’s FIFA ranking climb in the process.
Socceroo Massimo Luongo has been nominated for the AFC’s Asian International Player of the Year after he was named Player of the Tournament at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Westfield Matildas midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight has also been recognised for her strong form during the team’s run to the Quarter Finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, the 25-year-old shortlisted as one of three in line for the AFC Women’s Player of the Year.
If Kellond-Knight takes out the award, it will be the second consecutive year it has been won by an Australian after fellow Queenslander Katrina Gorry claimed the award in 2014.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has also been nominated for the AFC Member Association of the Year following Australia’s hosting of the AFC Asian Cup 2015. The tournament saw an aggregate attendance of 650,000 (more than 20,000 per match) and a worldwide TV audience in excess of one billion.
The AFC Annual Awards 2015 Ceremony commences at 7pm local time (12.30am AEDT, Monday 30 November).
AFC Annual Awards 2015 – Australian nominees
Football Federation Australia shortlisted for AFC Member Association of the Year 2015
Socceroos shortlisted for AFC National Team of the Year 2015
Ange Postecoglou shortlisted for AFC Coach of the Year 2015
Elise Kellond-Knight shortlisted for AFC Women’s Player of the Year 2015
Massimo Luongo shortlisted for AFC Asian International Player of the Year 2015