Socceroo Mat Ryan created history after he was named the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Footballer of the Year and Harry Kewell Medallist for the 2014/15 season.
Having won the Harry Kewell Medal twice previously, Ryan becomes the first player to have won both the Footballer of the Year award and Harry Kewell Medal in the same season.
Recognising the most outstanding footballer under 23 from among those playing in the A-League and Australian’s based overseas, the Harry Kewell Medal has previously been won by the likes of Mitch Langerak and Robbie Kruse, with Socceroos legends Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer having been recipients of the Footballer of the Year award.
Voted on by all of the PFA’s male members, Ryan enjoyed a stellar 2014/15 season with the shot stopper starring in the Asian Cup triumph, where he was voted as the goalkeeper of the tournament and being named as the Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year.
Upon receiving the award from PFA President Matt McKay, Ryan said he was honoured to be the recipient of both awards.
“This caps off the past 12 months and what a 12 months it has been,” Ryan said.
“To receive an award like this, which is voted by your colleagues is very humbling.
“You play football to represent your country at the highest level. The moment when Mile lifted the Asian Cup was very close to the best moment in my career. “I am eager to do everything I can to be successful with the Socceroos and Valencia.
“I would like to thank all of the PFA’s members who voted for me.”
PFA President Matt McKay paid tribute to Ryan.
“On behalf of all our members I would like congratulate Mat,” McKay said.
“The 2014/15 season was an historic one for Australian football and Mat played a huge role in this.”
PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said Ryan’s form for club and country had been remarkable during the 2014/15 season.
“Mat has the respect of all Australian footballers,” Vivian said.
“His dedication and professionalism is ‘world class’ and he deserves all the recognition he has received to date."