Former captain Paul Okon yesterday visited the Socceroos in camp in Sydney as they prepare for their upcoming matches against Malaysia and Oman. His important task was to present Robbie Kruse with the 2011 PFA Harry Kewell Medal for being voted by his peers as Australia’s best player under 23 in season 2010/11.

The Socceroos forward was unable to attend Tuesday night’s Australian Football Awards ceremony as he was in the air after playing for his new German club Fortuna Dusseldorf on Monday night, central European time.

Paul was the perfect choice to present Harry’s Medal to Robbie.  Not only is he a member of the PFA Awards Committee which nominated Kruse, he is a two-time winner of the National Soccer League young player award following brilliant seasons with Marconi in 1989/90 and 1990/91.  From there, he launched an international career that saw him play at the highest levels in Belgium, Italy, England and Greece as well leading the Socceroos in their 2001 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.  Whilst with Club Brugge, he represented the Olyroos at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where Australia qualified for the semi-finals.

After outstanding seasons for both the Socceroos and Melbourne Victory, Robbie dominated the voting for the award with 310 votes, ahead of Young Socceroos and FC Utrecht forward Tommy Oar (165) and KostaBarbarouses (162), the New Zealand international and former Brisbane Roar forward.

With his move to Fortuna Dusseldorf, Robbie has followed previous PFA Harry Kewell Medallists to Germany, with his former Victory teammate and 2010 winner Mitch Langerak with Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund and 2009 winner Nikita Rukavytsya with newly promoted Hertha Berlin.