AFC Awards: Goals corers head the nominees for Player of the Year titles

October 18 – Strikers head the list of nominees for the AFC Annual Awards 2022 that will be held in Doha, October 31.

The final three nominations for the men’s player of the year all play upfront. Australia’s Mathew Leckie, Qatar’s Almoez Ali and Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al Dawsari.

Leckie led the scoring for his club, Melbourne City, who Australia’s A-League. Leckie also scored the winning goal against Denmark at the Qatar 2022 World Cup that saw the Aussies progress into the last 16.

Almoez Ali helped his club side, Al Duhail, to the Qatar Stars league title in 2022, while also becoming his country’s joint all-time top scorer after netting his 42nd goal in November 2022.

Al Dawsari will go down in World Cup history, scoring the winning goal against eventual world champions Argentina at Qatar 2022 saw Saudi Arabia. He went on to equal Sami Al Jaber’s record for most World Cup goals (three) by a Saudi player and was pivotal for Al Hilal SFC in their 2021/22 Saudi Pro League and 2022/23 King’s Cup triumphs. He also scored twice against Flamengo at the Club World Cup in Morocco, rocketing them into the final. In the Asian Champions League he notched four goals and three assists to help Al Hilal finish as runners-up.

The final three nominees for the women’s player of the year are Australia’s Sam Kerr, China’s Zhang Linyan, and Japan’s Saki Kumagai, the only defender to make the final nominees list in either the men’s or women’s categories.

Kerr was very much Australia’s talisman in 2022, winning the Golden Boot at the Women’s Asian Cup, becaming Australia’s all-time top scorer – men or women. Her goals also pushed her club, Chelsea, to a fourth successive Women’s Super League title.

Zhang had a breakthrough year scoring her maiden international goal in the final Women’s Asian Cup in China’s 3-2 win over Korea Republic. At club level she moved from Wuhan to Swiss side Grasshopper Club Zurich where she scored eight times in her debut European season.

Kumagai was the AFC’s player of the year in 2019. In 2022 she helped her club side  Bayern Munich to a fourth Bundesliga title, while internationally captained Japan to the to the Semi-finals at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022.

Full nominee lists for the AFC Annual Awards Doha 2022 are:

AFC Player of the Year
Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City and AUS)
Almoez Ali (Al Duhail SC and QAT)
Salem Al Dawsari (Al Hilal SFC and KSA)

AFC Women’s Player of the Year
Samantha Kerr (Chelsea FC and AUS)

Zhang Linyan (Guangzhou Women’s/Wuhan Women’s FC/Grasshopper Club Zurich and CHN)
Saki Kumagai (FC Bayern Munich and JPN)

AFC Asian International Player of the Year
Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto and IRN)
Kaoru Mitoma (Royale Union Saint Gilloise/Brighton & Hove Albion and JPN)
Kim Min-jae (Fenerbahce/SSC Napoli and KOR)

AFC Futsal Player of the Year
Moslem Oladghobad (IRN)
Saeid Ahmad Abbasi (IRN)
Guilherme Kuromoto (JPN)

AFC Coach of the Year (Men’s)
Graham Arnold (AUS)
Hajime Moriyasu (JPN)
Saad Al Shehri (KSA)

AFC Coach of the Year (Women’s)
Shui Qingxia (CHN)
Tomomi Miyamoto (JPN)
Kim Eun-jung (KOR)

AFC Youth Player of the Year (Men’s)
Amin Hazbavi (Foolad FC and IRN)
Kuryu Matsuki (Aomori Yamada High School/FC Tokyo and JPN)
Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC and KOR)

AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women’s)
Mary Fowler (Manchester City and AUS)
Huo Yuexin (Jiangsu Youth Women’s Club and CHN)
Maika Hamano (INAC Kobe Leonessa and JPN)

AFC Member Association of the Year (Platinum)
Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran
Japan Football Association
Uzbekistan Football Association

AFC Member Association of the Year (Diamond)
The Kyrgyz Football Union
Lebanese Football Association
Vietnam Football Federation

AFC Member Association of the Year (Gold)
The Football Association of Hong Kong, China Limited
Kuwait Football Association
All Nepal Football Association

AFC Member Association of the Year (Ruby)
Guam Football Association

AFC Regional Association of the Year
Asean Football Federation
Central Asian Football Association
South Asian Football Federation

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Gold)
Football Australia
Chinese Football Association
Japan Football Association

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Silver)
Guam Football Association
Philippine Football Federation
The Football Association of Thailand

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Bronze)
Football Association of Brunei Darussalam
All India Football Federation
Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran
Syrian Football Association

AFC Referees Special Award
Chris Beath (AUS) – Referee,
Anton Shchetinin (AUS) – Assistant Referee,
Ashley Beecham (AUS) – Assistant Referee,
Ammar Aljneibi (UAE) – Support Video Assistant Referee

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