FFA pays tribute to Westfield Matildas star

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today congratulated Sam Kerr on being shortlisted for the 2017 Best FIFA Women's Player award.

FFA CEO David Gallop paid tribute to Kerr for her recognition and outstanding achievements this year.

“Sam is the first Australian ever to be nominated for this award and she richly deserves the recognition.  She is part of an outstanding Westfield Matildas team and together they demonstrate the quality of women’s football in this country,” said Gallop.

“Sam and her team mates will be playing Brazil in Penrith and Newcastle on September 16 and 19 and I urge everyone who can to get out to the game and experience this Westfield Matildas team playing live,” concluded Gallop.

Fans can vote on The Best FIFA Women's Player 2017 from Monday 21 August. Click here for details on how to vote.

Kerr was a standout for the Westfield Matildas in the recent Tournament of Nations, scoring four goals and setting up a number of others as the Matildas defeated hosts USA for the very first time before beating fellow top ten nations Japan, in which Kerr scored a first half hat-trick, and Brazil to claim the trophy.

Kerr, who plays for Perth Glory in the Westfield W-League and Sky Blue FC in the United States’ National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), scored a hat-trick in Australia’s 4-2 victory over Japan and the final goal in the 6-1 demolition of Brazil, as well as two assists. 

She has been in similar form for her American club side Sky Blue FC, with 11 goals and three assists this season.  That tally has made her the highest scorer in the history of the NWSL with 37 goals.

The talented Fremantle born 23 year old has already picked up two NWSL Player of the Week and two NWSL Player of the Month awards so far this season.

Sam Kerr celebrates a goal during the Westfield Matildas triumph at the Tournament of Nations.

Speaking from New Jersey, Kerr said it was humbling to be shortlisted alongside nine of the world’s best players.

“It’s exciting and a massive honour,” said Kerr.

“There are some great players in that list and all I can say at the moment is that it’s very humbling and a great honour to be shortlisted for this accolade.”

After recovering from an ankle injury that kept her out for an extended period in 2016, Kerr played injury free during the last Westfield W-League campaign in a season that saw her awarded the Julie Dolan Medal as the best player in the competition.

Not one to talk up her fast-growing reputation as one of the world’s most exciting and formidable players, Kerr believes much of what she has achieved so far this year comes down to being injury free and just enjoying her football.

“I think I’ve said it a thousand times over the past two weeks, I’m not one to read things about myself or get carried away but it’s nice to feel the love from people,” said Kerr.

Sam Kerr races clear of the Brazil defence during the Westfield Matildas 6-1 win at the Tournament of Nations.

“I’m injury free which has helped and it has been my first opportunity to play competitive football without any niggles for over a year so I’m fit and healthy and really enjoying being out there playing.”

“These things (being shortlisted) don’t happen alone. My team mates and the staff I have worked with are a big part of it and there are a lot of people that make a difference, both on and off field, so I’m grateful for all of the support they have given me.”

Kerr, who turns 24 in September, is scheduled to arrive back in Australia on 13 September ahead of the Westfield Matildas’ two international matches against Brazil.

“I think I can still get better and have still got a lot of learning and growing up to do,” said Kerr.

“People say that you peak as a player at 28 so hopefully I can be even better in three or four years,” concluded Kerr.

Tickets and match information for Penrith on September 16 and Newcastle on September 19 are available here: http://matildas.footballaustralia.com.au/tickets

Fans can vote on The Best FIFA Women's Player 2017 from Monday 21 August. Click here for details on how to vote.

For more information on the awards, click here.

The candidates for The Best FIFA Women's Player 2017, in alphabetical order, are:

Lucy Bronze (ENG - Manchester City Women)
Deyna Castellanos (VEN - Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
Pernille Harder (DEN - Linkopings / VfL Wolfsburg (Women))
Sam Kerr (AUS - Perth Glory / Sky Blue FC)
Carli Lloyd (USA - Houston Dash / Manchester City Women)
Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER - Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)
Lieke Martens (NED - FC Barcelona Femeni)
Vivianne Miedema (NED - Arsenal Women)
Wendie Renard (FRA - Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)
Jodie Taylor (ENG - Arsenal Women)