Former Socceroos captain and PFA Executive Member Mile Jedinak will join Matildas trailblazer Melissa Barbieri as a recipient of the PFA Alex Tobin OAM Medal this month.

Jedinak, who recently joined Tottenham Hotspur in a coaching role alongside fellow Australian and former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou in the English Premier League, will accept the honour at the 2023 Oakberry PFA Players’ Awards on Monday 17 July 2023 in Sydney.

Jedinak reached the pinnacle of the global game, captaining Australia to an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup triumph in 2015, represented the Socceroos at three FIFA Men’s World Cups in 2010, 2014 and 2018, and played over 200 matches in the top two tiers of England.

In addition to his impact on the pitch, Jedinak was instrumental in advancing the interests of players throughout his career, first through the PFA’s Socceroos Delegate Committee, before being voted to the PFA Executive Committee in 2014 where he played a key role on behalf of Australia’s professional footballers for six years. 

Jedinak was central to the 2019 National Teams Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which delivered gender equal conditions and pay for the Socceroos and Matildas. The 38-year-old joins Melissa Barbieri as the second recipient of the award at the 2023 event. 

“I am grateful and extremely honoured to receive such an acknowledgment and accolade from the football community of Australia,” Jedinak said.

“I’ve always endeavoured to represent my country and family with everything I have and hope to continue to inspire people to chase their dreams. I believe for me the main achievement was being a part of the PFA and representing the players at key stages when key decisions needed to be made. Doing this as a Socceroos captain, I always felt a responsibility.”

The PFA Alex Tobin OAM Medal is the PFA’s highest individual honour. It is awarded by the PFA Executive to current or former players who demonstrate the four attributes symbolised by former Socceroo and PFA President Alex Tobin during his career: leadership, achievement as a player, commitment to fellow professionals, and service and dedication to the game.

Jedinak joins Joe Marston, Johnny Warren, Craig Johnston, Mark Viduka, Frank Farina, Mark Schwarzer, Harry Kewell, Cheryl Salisbury, Paul Okon and Barbieri as an Alex Tobin OAM Medal recipient.

PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Bush said that Jedinak’s legacy was visible within the success of the contemporary Socceroos and Matildas, for which Jedinak laid the foundations on and off the pitch.

“Mile is a figure who fought with his heart on his sleeve when playing for his country and his teammates on the pitch, but also for advancing the rights and conditions of the Socceroos, Matildas and all footballers.

“During his time with the PFA and in his position on the Executive, he helped to drive outcomes for the National Teams that we see today: gender equality for our men’s and women’s teams, high-performance working conditions and investment in our youth programs.

“Similarly, to when he pulled on the Australian jersey, Mile was disciplined, passionate and incredibly effective in the arena of player representation. He is a deserving recipient of the PFA’s highest honour.”

The midfielder commenced his career with Sydney United and Central Coast Mariners before securing an overseas move to Turkish club Gençlerbirliği. 

He later joined English clubs Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, amassing over 200 appearances, and leading both clubs to promotion to the English Premier League.  Jedinak retired from the Socceroos in 2018 after 79 appearances, before retiring from professional football in 2020.

The Alex Tobin OAM Medal will be awarded alongside the 2023 Oakberry Players’ Awards including the Austraffic Footballer of the Year awards and the Beyond Bank Community Medal in Sydney on Monday 17 July 2023. 

The 2023 Oakberry PFA Players’ Awards will also commemorate 30 years of the PFA, with the organisation celebrating three decades of supporting the players and building the game in 2023.

Tickets for the 2023 Oakberry PFA Players’ Awards are on sale now with all proceeds donated to the Footballers’ Trust.