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Socceroo and Glasgow Rangers midfielder Matt McKay capped off a perfect season when he was overwhelmingly voted by his peers as Australia’s champion professional footballer of the 2010/11 season at the prestigious Australian Football Awards in Sydney, Tuesday October 4th.

 

McKay won acclaim for his outstanding performances for the Socceroos at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar (Australia lost in the final against Japan) and in leading Brisbane Roar to the A-League Premiership/Championship double earlier this year.

 

The 28-year old midfielder becomes the first A-League player to win the PFA Footballer of the Year award, following Everton’s Tim Cahill (2009) and Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer (2010). This summer  McKay moved to Scotland, where he joined Rangers.

 

McKay received 329 votes from his fellow professionals, ahead of Socceroo and AZ Alkmaar attacking midfielder Brett Holman (194), Tim Cahill (185). McKay’s winning margin of 135 votes is the largest so far recorded in the award’s short history, with him comfortably winning the vote with all 3 key peer groups: A-League players, the Socceroos and Australia’s overseas based professionals.

 

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said: ‘Matt’s incredible achievements in 2010/11 are the result of many years of hard work.'

 

'He has forged a long and distinguished A-League career, and now has the opportunity to test himself at one of Europe’s biggest and most successful football clubs. He is a great leader on and off the field, and enjoys the complete respect of all in the football industry.’

 

The PFA Harry Kewell Medal for Australia’s best young player under the age of 23 was awarded to former Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar forward Robbie Kruse who, like Matt, established himself as a genuine international in Qatar.

 

Kruse dominated the voting for the award with 310 votes, ahead of Young Socceroos and FC Utrecht forward Tommy Oar (165) and Kosta Barbarouses (162), the New Zealand international and former Brisbane Roar forward.

 

Kruse, now with Fortuna Dusseldorf, 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.

 

In addition, the PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year Award was won by Matildas and Brisbane Roar defender, Elise Kellond-Knight. The 21 year old player, who is now with Denmark’s Fortuna Hjørring, was recognised for an outstanding FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, where she was selected to the tournament’s all star team.