Matildas captain Sam Kerr has won a sixth career PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year award on the eve of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Matildas Kerr and Charlotte Grant and Socceroos Craig Goodwin and Jordan Bos were revealed as the major winners of the PFA’s prestigious player-voted awards, the 2023 PFA Oakberry Players’ Awards in Sydney on Monday night.

The gala event, which celebrated the significant contribution of football’s established and emerging players, also recognised Matildas and Socceroos greats Melissa Barbieri and Mile Jedinak

The duo were officially unveiled at the event as Alex Tobin OAM Medallists – the PFA’s highest individual honour – for their contribution to the players and the game.

Matilda Aivi Luik rounded out the major winners, with the Australian midfielder presented with the PFA Beyond Bank Community Medal for raising over $40,000 for the Mark Hughes Foundation.

PFA Austraffic Women’s Footballer of the Year: Sam Kerr

Photo: Rachel Bach (@bythewhiteline)

The Matildas captain recorded another incredible campaign for club and country across the 2022/23 season, culminating in a sixth PFA Austraffic Women’s Footballer of the Year award, as voted by her peers.

With Chelsea, Kerr’s performances and goals helped to steer the London club to a fourth consecutive FA Women’s Super League and Women’s FA Cup, a UEFA Women’s Champions League Semi-Final and a Women’s League Cup Final. 

Kerr capped an incredible year with a suite of accolades, including winning the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Women’s Footballer of the Year award. In doing so, Kerr became the only female to win the award consecutively. Kerr was also named Chelsea’s Player of the Year in a season where she scored 29 goals for The Blues in all competitions.

For the Matildas, Kerr helped to steer Australia to a Cup of Nations in February, with wins over Spain, Jamaica and Czech Republic, and played roles in crucial 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup warm-up matches against the likes of England, Denmark and Sweden.

Kerr previously won the PFA Austraffic Women’s Footballer of the Year award in 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2013.

Kerr said: “To receive the recognition of your peers, who know the sacrifices and challenges you face, is a huge honour. I’m incredibly fortunate to be part of two great teams and I am so grateful to all of the players I get to take the pitch with.” 

PFA Austraffic Men’s Footballer of the Year: Craig Goodwin

After earning the vote of the A-Leagues panel of experts to win the Jonny Warren Medal after an incredible 2022/23 season with Adelaide United, Socceroos star Craig Goodwin also earned the vote of his peers to win the PFA Austraffic Men’s Footballer of the Year.

Goodwin excelled in the A-League Men competition last season, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists in 25 regular season matches, before scoring three more times in the finals series.

His form for Adelaide earned him a call up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where he opened the Socceroos’ campaign with an early goal against France, before netting a deflected effort against eventual winners Argentina in the Round of 16.

Goodwin said: “To be voted by the players as the PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year is a great honour and tops off what has been a brilliant 12 months for me personally. For the Socceroos and at Adelaide I get to step onto the pitch with great players and this award is only possible because of their efforts.” 

PFA Austraffic Young Women’s Footballer of the Year: Charlotte Grant

Photo: Rachel Bach (@bythewhiteline)

One of the Matildas’ most exciting talents, Charlotte Grant, was awarded the PFA Austraffic Young Women’s Footballer of the Year, after a season where the 21-year-old defender developed into a crucial member of the national team.

The young Vittsjö GIK defender from Adelaide has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence in women’s football and is now a valuable member of Tony Gustavasson’s squad ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday.

Grant said: “To win an award that has been won by the likes of Mary, Alex and Ellie means so much.  It has been a very special twelve months and to receive this recognition on the eve of the World Cup means so much.” 

PFA Austraffic Harry Kewell Medal: Jordan Bos

Bos joins the likes of Socceroos captain Mat Ryan, Jamie Maclaren and Robbie Kruse in being awarded the PFA Austraffic Harry Kewell Medal, following a standout campaign with Melbourne City.

Having been named as captain in the PFA A-League Men Team of the Season, Bos also earned his first national team call-up, making his debut against Ecuador.  

His phenomenal 2022/23 did not go unnoticed by clubs abroad either, with Bos securing a move to Belgian club KVC Westerlo, breaking the Australian transfer record for a club selling directly overseas.

Bos said: “This caps a really special season for me. Harry is the player that inspired so many Australians and to join the likes of Mat, Robbie and Connor as the winner of the Harry Kewell Medal is a huge honour.”

2023 PFA Oakberry Players’ Awards Summary

PFA Alex Tobin Medal:                                                   Melissa Barbieri, Mile Jedinak

PFA Austraffic Women’s Footballer of the Year:                        Sam Kerr

PFA Austraffic Men’s Footballer of the Year:                    Craig Goodwin

PFA Austraffic Young Women’s Footballer of the Year:             Charlotte Grant

PFA Austraffic Harry Kewell Medal:                                 Jordan Bos

PFA Beyond Bank Community Medal:                             Aivi Luik

PFA Kimon Taliadoros Scholarship:                                Ben Collins and Scott Neville

PFA Craig Foster Scholarship:                                        Grace Gill and Emma Illajovski