Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2021 PFA Player Awards, which celebrate the significant contribution of the game’s established and emerging players through an annual player vote.

The awards consider the performances of players plying their trade in the W-League, A-League and Australians based overseas during the 2020-2021 season and recognise, reward and celebrate Australia’s most outstanding players through peer recognition.

The 18 nominees were selected by the PFA Awards Committee which is comprised of former players and figures in the Australia football media. 

The winners will be revealed following a PFA Member vote, with the players’ voice central to the Awards. The PFA Players’ Awards have been awarded annually since 2009, when former Socceroo Tim Cahill won the inaugural PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year. The PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year was introduced the following season, which was won by Servet Uzunlar in 2010.

Check out the nominees below!

Please note that PFA members have been sent a separate members-only communication to vote on the nominees.

PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year

Following a season of impressive performances in the A-League, Melbourne City FC’s duo of Jamie Maclaren and Curtis Good join former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Ulises Davila as nominees for the 2021 Men’s Footballer of the Year. That trio have been nominated alongside three Australians who made their mark in competitions overseas, with Mitch Langerak – who broke the J-League record for the most clean sheets in a season with Nagoya Grampus – Israeli-based striker Nikita Rukavytsya, who won the 2020-21 Israeli Premier League with Maccabi Haifa, and Scotland’s Socceroo Martin Boyle, who registered a magnificent campaign with Hibernian last season.

Previous Winners: Mat Ryan (2020, 2019, 2015), Aaron Mooy (2018, 2017, 2016), Mile Jedinak (2014), Robbie Kruse (2013), Brett Holman (2012), Matt McKay (2011), Mark Schwarzer (2010), Tim Cahill (2009)  

PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year:

There’s an even split of domestic-based players and overseas-based Aussies in the mix for the PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year. Four-time winner, Matildas captain and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr, headlines a talented pool of nominees, with 2020 PFA Young Footballer of the Year winner Ellie Carpenter of French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais the two overseas-based players.

Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman marks her incredible return to form following an 18-month hiatus with a nomination for the accolade, while Dylan Holmes – whose nomination was based on her season in the W-League with Adelaide United before her move to reigning Swedish champions BK Häcken – joins a solid list of contenders for the 2021 award.

Previous Winners:  Steph Catley (2020), Sam Kerr (2013, 2017, 2018, 2019), Lydia Williams (2012, 2016), Katrina Gorry (2014), Elise Kellond-Knight (2011), Servet Uzunlar (2010)

PFA Harry Kewell Medal 

The nominations for the PFA’s Men’s Young Footballer of the Year, known as the Harry Kewell Medal, is comprised exclusively of four talents who represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympics for the Olyroos.

Having secured the A-League Premiers Plate and Championship double, Connor Metcalfe and Marco Tilio have been recognised by the nominations committee, while Sydney FC’s Joel King, who won the A-League’s Young Footballer of the Year in June, and former Macarthur midfielder Denis Genreau, who earned a move post-Olympics to French outfit Toulouse, capped off impressive seasons with nominations.

Previous Winners: Liberato Cacace (2020), Chris Ikonomidis (2019), Daniel Arzani (2018), Alex Gersbach (2017), Jamie Maclaren (2016), Mat Ryan (2015, 2014, 2012), Marco Rojas (2013), Robbie Kruse (2011), Mitch Langerak (2010), Nikita Rukavytska (2009)

PFA Young Women’s Footballer of the Year

Having won the award in 2020, Ellie Carpenter has earned a unique double nomination this year, with the Matildas and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin star up for both the Young Women’s Player and the Women’s Player of the Year categories.

Montpellier’s Mary Fowler, W-League Grand Final and PFA W-League Team of the Season captain Kyra Cooney-Cross, and Western Sydney Wanderers’ rising star Courtney Nevin join Carpenter as nominees.

Previous Winners: Ellie Carpenter (2020), Karly Roestbakken (2019), Alex Chidiac (2018, 2017)

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill congratulated the 18 nominees for their form across the 2020/21 season.

“The PFA Players’ Awards are incredibly special to the players as they are peer voted and allow them to recognise the most outstanding performers within their profession.

“It’s wonderful that the nominees this year include a new generation of players who have emerged from the A-League and W-League, demonstrating our domestic leagues’ capacity to produce and nurture new talent.” 

“Complementing those nominated from within the Australian competitions include an impressive list of players representing our sport on the global stage.

“We congratulate all of the nominees and wish them luck in the PFA’s player vote.”