Australian duo Sam Kerr and Mathew Leckie have been nominated for the Asian Football Confederation’s Player of the Year awards in the women’s and men’s categories respectively, with national team boss Graham Arnold named on the shortlist for best coach.
Chelsea striker Kerr headlines a three-player list for the women’s award that includes Zhang Linyan from China and Japan’s Saki Kumagai, who won the award the last time it was presented in 2019.
Leckie, who scored in the 1-0 win over Denmark at last year’s World Cup to take Australia into the knockout rounds, has been shortlisted for the men’s award, alongside Qatar’s Almoez Ali and Salem Al Dawsari from Saudi Arabia.
Arnold has been nominated with Japan’s Hajime Moriyasu, who masterminded his side’s wins over Germany and Spain at the World Cup, and Saad Al Shehri, the coach of Saudi Arabia’s Asian title-winning under 23 side last year.
Europe-based trio Mehdi Taremi of Iran and Porto, Brighton and Japan winger Kaoru Mitoma and current Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae have been nominated for the Asian International Player of the Year award.
The awards function, set for Doha on Oct. 31, will be the first since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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