Westfield Matildas playmaker Katrina Lee Gorry says she hopes being voted the AFC’s Women’s Player of the Year at the AFC awards in Manila on Sunday night can to serve as an inspiration for women’s football in Australia.
Gorry became the second Australian woman in four years to claim the top prize following on from Kate Gill, beating out Japanese duo Aya Miyama and Nahomi Kawasumi.
"I am absolutely ecstatic to win this award especially when up against such fantastic players….it really is an amazing honour," Gorry told the AFC website.
"Kate Gill won this award four years ago, it really is an amazing achievement to have won this award after her.
“And with Australia hosting the next AFC Asian Cup in January it’s a great time for football in Australia. The support that we have for football in Australia will really do us well and I think winning this award can help to serve as an inspiration for women’s football in Australia.
“Women's football in Australia is also growing rapidly. We are getting bigger, there are more fans coming to the stadium, we are gaining more media attention and all that is helping us.”
Gorry was the standout performer for the Westfield Matildas as this year’s Women’s Asian Cup.
She scored three goals on Australia’s march to final where they were narrowly beaten by rivals Japan.
"My performances leading up to the AFC Asian Cup in Vietnam were pretty good and I had some good games there,” Gorry said.
“When it came to shine I put some goals away, that's probably what pushed me to win this trophy, but at the end of the day I can’t thank anyone more than my team-mates who helped this happen.
"The footballing talent of the younger girls who are coming through in Australia is crazy at the moment; we have so many quality players coming through and it’s a challenge to keep your place in the Matildas line-up.
“The next six months ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup are going to be challenging and exciting ones for Australian football but I'm sure we'll be ready for the World Cup.”
Asked if despite beating out the Japanese duo to the award if Japan was still favourites for next year’s Women’s World Cup, Gorry said: "They are always the team to beat.
“Their technical skills are above the rest of the teams and I think that's what makes them shine when they play any other teams. So definitely at the World Cup they are the team to beat. I'm excited about that."
Image courtesy The Women's Game