Australia in line for three AFC Annual Awards
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Socceroos and the Matildas are in the running to be recognised at the gala Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Annual Awards which will be held at in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) tonight (Wednesday 29th November 2006).
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Socceroos and the Qantas Matildas are in the running to be recognised at the gala Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Annual Awards which will be held at in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) tonight (Wednesday 29th November 2006).
Since joining the AFC on January 1 this year, the performance of the FFA, its senior Men's & Women's national teams has seen them nominated in three different categories.
The FFA has been nominated for the prestigious AFC Association of the Year along with China and DPR Korea. In addition the Socceroos and the Qantas Matildas have also been nominated for the highly competitive AFC Men-s and Women-s Teams of the Year respectively.
This year has seen the FFA take tremendous strides which the AFC have recognised. These include: - Socceroos reaching the second round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, - Hosting AFC Asian Women-s Cup 2006 in Adelaide. the Qantas Matildas finished runners up and qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Championship. - Qantas Young Matildas qualified for the U-20 FIFA Women-s World Cup - U-19 Women-s team finished third in the AFC U-19 Women's Championship 2006 - Qantas Young Socceroos (U-20 Men-s team) qualified for the AFC Youth Championships 2006 - Mark Shield refereeing AFC Champions League Final (2nd Leg) - Restructuring of Coach Education Structure to comply with AFC Coaching Structure - Inaugural Hyundai A-League season - Sydney FC and Adelaide United qualifying for the 2007 AFC Champions League
The Socceroos face tough opposition for the Men's Team of the Year Award with fellow World Cup finalists Japan, Korea Republic, Iran and Saudi Arabia also in contention. At the FIFA world Cup, Australia not only scored their first goal in the tournament' s history, they also recorded their countries first win and qualified for the round of 16 where they were narrowly defeated by the eventual World Champions Italy. The Socceroos also qualified for the Asian Cup 2007 by topping Group D of the qualifying tournament, which included Bahrain and Kuwait.
The Qantas Matildas had an equally successful campaign during 2006 which saw them come runners-up at the AFC Asian Women-s Championships which was also held in Australia. Strong performances against Mexico, China & Japan in international friendly matches and against the Netherlands, USA & Denmark at the Peace Cup in South Korea has provided a solid base for their preparations for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup in China.
Further details of the nominees can be found at the AFC website: www.the-afc.com