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 By Paul Murphy

Sam Kerr targets winning Asian Cup after being named AFC Player of Year

Matildas and Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr expresses her excitement for being awarded AFC Women's Player of the Year.

Matildas' striker Sam Kerr admits that lifting the 2017 AFC Award for Women's Player of the Year is the icing on the cake of a wonderful 12 months.

Kerr has broken several records, including becoming the National Women's Soccer League's (NWSL) all-time top scorer with Sky Blue FC, and finding the back of the net in the most consecutive games for Australia.

It has been a great year for the 24-year-old with the Matildas, who won the inaugural Tournament of Nations, beating the USA, Japan and Brazil in the process.

When asked to highlight the standout moment of 2017, Kerr found it hard to single out any one achievement.

"I think my top moments from this year, on a personal level, would probably be breaking the [scoring] record in the NWSL and obviously tonight [winning the AFC award]," Kerr told ESPN FC.

"And then, as a team, winning the Tournament of Nations and beating the USA for the first time -- that was a special moment that I'll probably remember forever."

Sam Kerr celebrates after scoring for Australia against China.
Sam Kerr says the Matildas are targeting victory in April's Asian Cup in Jordan.

Kerr proudly follows in the footsteps of two fellow Aussies, with Katrina Gorry having won the award in 2014, while Caitlin Foord lifted it last year.

"A lot of Australians have previously won it, so I'm very humbled, as it's such a special award," Kerr said.

"This is the third time in four years that an Australian woman has won this award. I think we're going in the right direction in Australia for women's football.

"I'm very proud if I can be flying the flag for Australia and the growth of women's football. Things like this help, but at the end of the day team performances and team wins are more important than individual awards."

Kerr is now looking forward to the 2018 Asian Cup in April as the Matildas aim to go one better than their runners-up finish to Japan in 2014.

"We've got the Asian Cup in Jordan... I want to win that, obviously, with the Matildas. We lost last time to Japan so we've got something to prove. On a personal level, I just want to keep scoring, be a team player and a good teammate."

Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK


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