NAB young footballer of the year nominee: Kyra Cooney-Cross
Signing a maiden W-League contract at the beginning of the 2017/18 season would have been a dream come true for Melbourne Victory youngster Kyra Cooney-Cross.
What was to come would have left her in dreamland – the 16-year-old featured in all 12 of Victory’s matches, including five starts.
Wearing number 10 in her debut season for Victory, the attacker scored twice in the league this season including her first W-League goal against the Newcastle Jets in round nine.
The league sat up and took notice of the youngster earlier than that though – a bursting run at Westfield Matildas defender Alanna Kennedy in the first Melbourne Derby of the season turned heads around the country.
BY THE NUMBERS
Two goals in her debut W-League season is the key stat for the striker, who played a total of 612 minutes this season.
Cooney-Cross’ desire to go forward is reflected in her passing statistics, with nearly a quarter of her 94 passes this year going forward.
Despite not picking up an assist this year, the youngster proved herself a tricky player to handle as she fired off 12 key passes and won a dozen fouls.
WHY SHE SHOULD WIN
One of the breakout stars of the season, Cooney-Cross is the youngest of the three players nominated for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.
She’s one of two Melbourne Victory players nominated for the award, fellow striker Melina Ayres is the other, but Cooney-Cross perhaps has the advantage due to being three years Ayres’ junior.
2017-18 was her first year of W-League football and one in which she more than held her own, earning praise from many in the game including Victory coach Jeff Hopkins who said she has a ‘big future in the game’.