Kerr scoops third place in Player of the Year gong

Westfield Matildas star Samantha Kerr has scooped third place in the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2018 after thousands of fans from around the world voted.

With England defender Lucy Bronze taking top honours, Netherlands forward Lieke Martens – winner of FIFA’s The Best award – came in second.

The five-player shortlist also included Denmark's Pernille Harder and Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan, but Kerr’s form for club and country saw her come in third in the vote.

It’s been a whirlwind of a 12 months for the striker, who was top scorer in the 2017 NWSL season with 17 goals for Sky Blue before trading to current club Chicago Red Stars.

Those goals helped her top the all-time scoring charts in NWSL history, while her form for Westfield W-League club Perth Glory saw her share honours with Westfield Matildas teammate Clare Polkinghorne for the Julie Dolan Medal.

Yet it was in the green and gold of Australia where Kerr shone brightest, netting four goals at the 2017 Tournament of Nations, including a hat-trick against Japan.

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Sam Kerr after her third goal against Japan

She then backed it up with goals on home soil against Brazil and China in high profile friendlies.

“I'm part of such a great team in the Matildas and I'm happy that I've finally started scoring goals so consistently,” Kerr told the BBC.

“Winning the Tournament of Nations was a highlight of the last 12 months.I scored my first ever hat-trick for the Matildas against Japan, then to win the tournament was just that moment where we really believed we could be the best nation in the world.”

Kerr added: “Breaking the NWSL goalscoring record was pretty amazing for me too. I'd love to win a World Cup, it's my dream to lift a trophy with the Matildas at a major tournament, I'd love to win an Olympics.

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“After scoring a goal, sometimes I do a backflip, I started doing them when I was about seven or eight, I used to watch gymnastics and taught myself.

“I didn't do it for ages after all my injuries but when I scored my first hat-trick it just came out and it's been a thing ever since.

“I love celebrating, whether I'm doing a backflip, sliding on my knees, hugging my team-mates, it's pure emotion and it's fun.”