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Katrina Lee Gorry named AFC 2014 Women’s Player of the Year

Katrina Lee Gorry has been named as the AFC Women’s Player of the Year at the AFC’s Annual Awards ceremony in the Philippines.
Fondly known as Mini, the prodigiously talented midfielder was named the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2014’s second best player after contributing three goals to Australia’s campaign which ended in a 1-0 defeat to Japan in the final.

Gorry, 22, made her debut for the senior national team in 2012 and currently plays for Brisbane Roar and FC Kansas City in America’s National Women’s Soccer League.

She was up against stiff competition in the shape of two-time AFC Women’s Player of the Year Aya Miyama and Nahomi Kawasumi, who helped Japan win this year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

“I am absolutely ecstatic to win this award especially when up against such fantastic players in Aya Miyama and Nahomi Kawasumi. It really is an amazing honour after Kate Gill won this award in 2010,” said Gorry.

“My performances leading up to the AFC Asian Cup in Vietnam were pretty good and I had some good games there. When it came to shine I put some goals away, but I can’t thank anyone more than my team-mates who helped this happen.

“I think winning this award can help to serve as an inspiration for women’s football in Australia and further the development which is growing rapidly, with bigger crowds and more media interest.

“The footballing talent of the younger girls who are coming through in Australia is crazy; 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 exciting ones for Australian football.

“And with Australia hosting the next AFC Asian Cup in January it’s a great time for all the football supporters in Australia.”
 
 
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Japan U-17 women’s head coach Asako Takemoto has clinched the AFC Women’s Coach of the Year accolade for a third time during Sunday’s AFC Annual Awards 2014 gala held in the Philippines.
Takemoto, who led her Japan team to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014 title, won the award ahead of Thailand’s Nuengrutai Srathongvian and Gao Hong of China.

The AFC Women’s Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013 guided the Japan U-17 women’s team to the top of their group at the Costa Rica tournament with a perfect record of three wins, advancing to the quarter-finals where they downed Mexico 2-0.

Takemoto’s Young Nadeshiko then beat Venezuela 4-1 in the semis propelling them to the final against Spain who they defeated 2-0, having beaten them by the same score-line in the group stages.

The 46-year-old AFC Coaching Instructor is also one of 10 nominees for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award, which will be handed over at the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or on January 12, 2015, in Zurich, Switzerland.

“It’s an honour to receive this award,” said Takemoto. “I was able to receive this award because my players played their best in the competitions, so I would like to thank all of them. Of course, I am proud to receive this award, but I was also extremely proud to win the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – that was my proudest moment.

“The youth development system in Japan is very good and Japanese players have good technique, understand tactics, and have good discipline; these are qualities that go right through the generations from the youth development squads right through to the senior side.

“By receiving this award and also being U-17 Women’s World Champions, this will also help inspire upcoming players and coaches. We always want to head towards becoming World Champions again so that is the future that we will expect from our players.”
 
 
Source and Photos courtesy of: the-afc.com

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