Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was tonight voted by his peers as the PFA Footballer of the Year following an outstanding season for both the Socceroos and his club, English Premier League outfit Fulham FC.
Schwarzer’s award was announced at the prestigious Australian Football Awards held in Sydney in conjunction with Football Federation Australia.  He received 392 votes from his fellow professionals, just ahead of last year’s inaugural winner, Everton star Tim Cahill, who received 385.  Socceroos and AZ Alkmaar attacking midfielder Brett Holman was third with 196 votes.
PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab paid tribute to Schwarzer’s achievements.
“Mark was instrumental in Fulham’s most successful season in the London club’s history, keeping 16 clean sheets in a season highlighted by the Europa Cup final,” Schwab said.  “Mark was also outstanding in all matches leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and then at the World Cup itself, playing every minute of Australia’s campaign.”
Schwarzer was presented with his PFA medal by former Socceroos skipper Alex Tobin, who is Australia’s most capped player and a former PFA President.
The PFA Harry Kewell Medal for Australia’s best player under the age of 23 was awarded to another goalkeeper – former Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, now with German giant Borussia Dortmund.  His 299 votes saw him head off Adelaide United’s Matthew Leckie (270) and FC Utrecht’s Tommy Oar (253).
Kewell presented the medal to Mitch’s parents, Mark and Debbie Langerak, with Mitch being based in Germany on club duty.
In addition, former Matildas skipper Cheryl Salisbury presented the inaugural PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year award to Servet Uzunlar, a star defender for the Matildas in their Asian Cup triumph, who received 39 votes from her Matildas’ team mates.  Matildas skipper and goalkeeper Mel Barbieri was runner up with 29, ahead of Elise Kellond-Knight, the Queensland Road midfielder, with 26 votes.
The PFA Footballer of the Year Awards
Inaugurated in 2009, the annual PFA Footballer of the Year Awards provide the ultimate form of recognition for Australia’s most outstanding professional footballers by:
being open to players plying their trade at home and abroad, including in the world’s best leagues such as the English Premier League and the Italian Serie A as well as in Australia’s own A-League and W-League;
taking into account performances for both club and country; and
being exclusively voted for by the judge the professional footballer values most highly – his or her peer.
Australians eligible to play for the Socceroos and the Matildas, as well as foreign players playing in the A-League, are eligible for the awards.
The PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year was presented for the first time in 2010.  The medal includes the image of legendary Matildas defender, Cheryl Salisbury.