Brett Holman was rewarded for a stellar season for club and country by being named Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Player of the Year and Football Media Association (FMA) International Player of the Year for 2011-2012 at the PFA awards in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon.
2012 PFA Awards Program Booklet
Voted on by PFA members, Holman polled 270 votes with Alex Brosque second (176 votes) and Adam Federici third (154 votes) to scoop PFA's highest honour for current players.
"Brett Holman was a standout player for both his club AZ and the Socceroos in the past year," PFA President Simon Colosimo said.
Previous winners of the PFA Player of the Year Award since its introduction in 2009 have been Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill and Matt McKay.
For the first time, the PFA Awards were held in conjunction with the Football Media Association (FMA) Awards.
Holman, who will play his football in the English Premier League with Aston Villa next season, was again lauded by the game's media after winning the FMA International Players of the Year award in 2010-2011.
The 28 year old got the nod ahead of nominees Brosque, Josh Kennedy, Lucas Neill and Luke Wilkshire. Previous winners are Mark Schwarzer and Tim Cahill.
Holman missed out on playing for the Socceroos against Denmark and the World Cup qualifying matches against Oman and Japan this month due to the expected arrival of his second child.
Mat Ryan won the Harry Kewell Medal for the most outstanding Under 23 player, Lydia Williams was named women's PFA Player of the Year Award while Caitlin Foord was the women's FMA International Players of the Year winner.
"It's pleasing to see some new names and faces amongst the winners and nominees," Colosimo said.
"It's indicative of the level of confidence fellow professionals have in the younger generation coming through which is so necessary for our continuing international success."
Central Coast Mariners 'keeper Mat Ryan scooped the Under 23 player of the year award polling 291 votes, well ahead of Brisbane Roar's Mitch Nicholls (217 votes) and Middlesbrough's Socceroos defender Rhys Williams (192 votes).
Previous winners are Nikita Rukavytsa, Mitch Langerak and Robbie Kruse.
For the women's award, Matildas goalkeeper Williams polled 59 votes to beat out Foord (22 votes) and last year's winner Elise Kellond‐Knight (21 votes).
"Lydia had an outstanding year, with her form for Canberra United being instrumental in helping Canberra win the W‐League," Colosimo said. "She was equally impressive in the Olympic qualifiers keeping Australia in the match in several key fixtures."
The first winner of the PFA women's player award in 2010 was Servet Uzunlar.
Teenage Matildas star Foord was the inaugural recipient of the FMA's top gong for women.
"She won the Best Young Player at the Women's World Cup as well as the Asian Football Confederation's Young Player of the Year – and it was easy for FMA members to agree with that assessment," FMA President Ray Gatt of The Australian said.
Kimon Taliadoros Scholarships, worth $5,000, were awarded to retiring Wellington Phoenix player, Tim Brown, who is taking up a scholarship at the London School of Economics and Kliment Taseski who is studying for a Business‐Law double degree at LaTrobe University.
The Craig Foster Media Scholarship, also worth $5,000, was given to Jamie Harnwell who, in the past season, has been well received for his work on the A-League.
The final presentation was to Australia great and the only Australian-born man to coach the Socceroos, Frank Farina.
The 47-year-old was honoured with the Alex Tobin Medal, which is the most prestigious of the PFA Awards.
Farina said he was "humbled, honoured and privileged".
"It is something I value more highly than any other award I've received because of the others who have received it before me."
Previous recipients of the Alex Tobin Medal are the late Johnny Warren, Joe Marston, Craig Johnston and Mark Viduka.
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