AFC Announce Nominees For Women’s Player of the Year 2015
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation has announced the nominees for the 2015 AFC Women’s Player of the Year awards.
With the clock ticking down to the November 29th AFC Annual Awards extravaganza in New Delhi, Australian ace Elise Kellond-Knight as well Japan’s Aya Miyama and Rumi Utsugi find themselves in contention for the equally coveted AFC Women’s Player of the Year Award.
Aya Miyama (Japan)
Two-time (2011, 2012) AFC Women’s Player of the Year Aya Miyama has been captain of the Japan national women’s team since 2012, the year she helped the Nadeshiko claim silver at the London Olympics. Having appeared at every FIFA Women’s World Cup since 2003, the 30-year-old played an important role in Japan’s 2011 title winning campaign and also won the Bronze Ball award at this year’s edition in Canada where the Japanese emerged as runners-up to the USA. The Okayama Yunogo Belle midfielder helped Japan claim their first AFC Women’s Asian Cup title in Vietnam last year and was the tournament’s MVP.
Elise Kellond-Knight (Australia)
FFC Turbine Potsdam’s defensive midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight of Australia was W-League Young Player of the Year in 2009 and also the 2011 FFA Female Footballer of the Year. The 25-year-old, who started her club career with hometown outfit Brisbane Roar in 2008, has 64 caps for the Australia national team and scored a crucial goal in the Matildas’ 2-1 win over Korea Republic in the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup semi-final before they finished runners-up to eventual champions Japan. Kellond-Knight was also chosen to be on the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Teams in 2011 and 2015, the year she helped Australia reach the quarter-finals.
Rumi Utsugi (Japan)
Japan’s Rumi Utsugi has been playing her club football for Montpellier, a French women’s top-flight outfit, since 2010 where she has scored 20 times from 111 appearances. The 26-year-old defensive midfielder was in the Nadeshiko squads at both the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She also appeared in the 2010 and 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cups, with Japan winning the latter to claim their first Asian Cup title. Utsugi also helped Japan win the inaugural edition of the AFC U-17 Women’s Championship in Korea Republic in 2005.
Source courtesy of: AFC.com
Photos courtesy of: Getty Images – Asia