Three of Australia’s brightest professional footballers, Ellie Carpenter, Jamie Maclaren and Connor Metcalfe, have been revealed as the winners of the 2021 PFA Players’ Awards.

  • Olympique Lyonnais Féminin and Matildas right-back Ellie Carpenter voted by her peers as both PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year and the PFA Women’s Young Footballer of the Year
  • Socceroos and Melbourne City FC striker Jamie Maclaren voted as the PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year for first time
  • Melbourne City FC and Olyroo midfielder Connor Metcalfe wins PFA Harry Kewell Medal; the PFA Men’s Young Footballer of the Year

The 2021 PFA Players’ Awards celebrate the significant contribution of the game’s established and emerging players and were voted on by the PFA membership and consider the performances of PFA members during the recently concluded 2020/21 season. 

PFA President Alex Wilkinson said: “On behalf of all of our members and the PFA Executive, I would like to congratulate Ellie, Jamie and Connor on winning their respective awards, which are considered to be the highest individual honour an Australian footballer can win.”
“Last season all three had the distinction of representing their country at the highest level and achieved personal goals within their club careers. They continue to forge impressive careers and are inspirational ambassadors for Australian football.”

After an exciting debut campaign in the French Division 1 Féminine with European powerhouse Olympique LyonnaisMatildas right-back Carpenter was voted by her peers as both the PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year and the PFA Women’s Young Footballer of the Year.

Carpenter becomes the first female player to have won both awards in the same season and has now won the PFA Women’s Young Footballer of the Year back-to-back. Since commencing with Olympique Lyonnais last season, the 21-year-old became a UEFA Women’s Champions League champion and Coupe de France Féminine winner, was named in the Division 1 Féminine Team of the Season and represented Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Carpenter said: “I’m really surprised and feeling humbled to receive both awards. For me it goes to show that it’s not just me, it’s also the teams that I’ve been playing in as well. I’m so appreciative of my teammates and their support; credit to every girl on the Matildas and also my Lyon team here, it’s pushed me to be the best that I can be. We don’t do any of this on our own and I just want to acknowledge all the people around me that enable me to keep doing what I love and keep trying to be the best I can be.”

In winning the PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year, Jamie Maclaren caps one of his most successful individual seasons and becomes the third player in PFA history to win both men’s awards. Maclaren won the Harry Kewell Medal in 2016 and joins Mat Ryan and Robbie Kruse as players who have received both accolades. 

Maclaren broke a number of records during the 2020/21 season, becoming City’s all-time leading goal-scorer and was named captain in the PFA’s A-League Team of the Season. Maclaren also became the fastest player in Australian national league history to net 100 goals and recorded a career-best 25 goals in 23 appearances – five of which were scored in one match: an A-League regular season record.

Maclaren said: “I’m truly honoured to be named the PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year. I was grateful to even be considered, let alone be voted the winner. This sits right at the top of Individual awards and to be voted by the players, this is something I’m finding hard to put into words. After winning the A-League Championship and my third golden boot this season, it speaks volumes that the environment I have here at Melbourne City and also the staff and my teammates. 

“The special people I have around me on and off the pitch have helped me achieve this. I want to thank everyone and I hope everyone stays safe and can’t wait to be hitting the back of the net again.”

After a breakthrough campaign in 2019/20, Metcalfe became a fundamental contributor to City’s maiden Premiers’ Plate and Championship in 2020/21, with his club form earning him a Socceroos debut and a call up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 21-year-old made 24 appearances for City with a return of five goals in 2020/21, before his Australian national team debut against Chinese Taipei and first international start in the Socceroos’ 3-0 win over Nepal.

Metcalfe said: “Winning this award means so much to me because as a small kid growing up in Newcastle I used to dream of one day following in Harry’s footsteps. I would wear a Harry Kewell top everywhere, even to bed. I loved that he was a left footer just like me.

“Looking back at the previous medal winners, I feel so proud and honoured to be added to such an amazing list filled with fantastic players. I hope that by winning this award, it can be an inspiration to other young players around the country.”

2021 Nominees:

About the PFA Players’ Awards
PFA Players’ Awards recognise, reward and celebrate Australia’s most outstanding male and female players each season, based on the principle of peer recognition and regards both the domestic and international features of the career path pursued by elite Australian professionals.
Men’s Footballer of the Year Winners: Jamie Maclaren (2021), 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)  

Women’s Footballer of the Year Winners: Ellie Carpenter (2021), Steph Catley (2020), Sam Kerr (2019, 2018, 2017, 2013), Lydia Williams (2016, 2012), Katrina Gorry (2014), Elise Kellond-Knight (2011), Servet Uzunlar (2010)

Harry Kewell Medal (PFA Men’s Young Footballer of the Year): Connor Metcalfe (2021), 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)

Young Women’s Footballer of the Year: Ellie Carpenter (2021, 2020), Karly Roestbakken (2019), Alex Chidiac (2018, 2017)