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Abu Dhabi: Australia international Caitlin Foord has dedicated her AFC Player of the Year award to her fellow Matildas, after she was crowned Asia’s best women’s player for 2016 in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Foord fended off competition from compatriot Lisa De Vanna and China PR’s Tan Ruyin to land the accolade and become only the second player after Ma Xiaoxu to receive both the youth and senior awards following her AFC Women’s Youth Player of the Year success in 2011.

“I wasn’t expecting this, thank you to the AFC and congratulations to everyone in Abu Dhabi for hosting this wonderful event. I accept this award on behalf of all the Matildas,” Foord said after receiving her trophy from AFC Executive Committee Member and AFC Women’s Football Committee Chairwoman Moya Dodd.

“Winning the AFC Youth Player of the Year award in 2011 was a massive achievement but of course winning this award is so much better. I would also like to congratulate the other nominees, Lisa and Tan, for an amazing year,” added the player who still holds the record as the youngest ever Australian to feature for the Matildas when she played at the 2011 FIFA World Cup in Germany aged just 16.

The livewire forward, currently playing for Sydney FC in Australia’s W-League, was a key performer for the Matildas throughout their memorable recent Olympic Games adventure in Brazil.

She appeared four times and scored against Germany as Australia reached the quarter-finals, a widely-acclaimed team effort that Foord has been quick to acknowledge – as well as her own personal pride - in Abu Dhabi.

“I feel very honoured and I happy to be taking this award back to Australia. This is for the national team, anyone of whom could easily have been here tonight.

“Looking back at the Youth Player of the Year award, I was perhaps too young to really think too much of it. Now of course, I feel very privileged. I think it will be quite nice to reflect on these two awards later in my career.” 

Photo: AFC