Kuala Lumpur: Australia’s star full-back Ellie Carpenter is Asia’s Choice for the Best Women’s Player of 2020.
The 20-year-old edged out Japan’s Saki Kumagai and national teammates Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr to win the award, which recognises women players from AFC Member Associations for their performances for club and country in the 2020 calendar year.
The youngest player to be shortlisted for the award, Carpenter has been acknowledged for an exceptional 2020, which included achievements for two clubs as well as the Australian women’s national team.
A key ingredient in Melbourne City’s all-conquering, title-winning side in Australia’s W-League, Carpenter was voted Australia’s Young Player of the Year for the third consecutive season in July.
The high-energy full-back then moved to French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais, remaining an unused substitute as the club lifted the UEFA Women’s Champions League title in August, before going to establish herself as a valued first-team player in the latter half of the year.
Carpenter was also pivotal to Australia’s successful qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, playing four matches and providing three assists in the Matildas’ unbeaten campaign.
How they finished: Asia’s Choice – Best Women’s Player of 2020
Top 10 Total Points
- Ellie Carpenter (Melbourne City FC, Olympique Lyonnais/AUS) 26.93
- Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais/JPN) 22.47
- Caitlin Foord (Arsenal FC/AUS) 18.56
- Sam Kerr (Chelsea FC/AUS) 12.98
- Ji So-yun (Chelsea FC/KOR) 9.59
- Jang Sel-gi (Madrid CFF, Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels/KOR) 3.80
- Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Red Diamonds/JPN) 2.40
- Rikako Kobayashi (Nippon TV Beleza/JPN) 2.31
- Tang Jiali (Shanghai Shengli/CHN) 0.60
- Wu Haiyan (Wuhan Jiangda/CHN) 0.35
In addition to their status as Europe’s best club side, Olympique Lyonnais can also claim to feature the top two players in the eyes of Asia’s fans and experts, with Japan’s Kumagai finishing second on 22.47 points, narrowly behind Carpenter’s tally of 26.93.
Foord (18.56) and Kerr’s (12.98) respective third and fourth place finishes mean Australian players comprise three of the top four places, while Korea Republic’s Jang Sel-gi (3.80) was the highest Asian-based finisher in sixth.
About Asia’s Choice – 2020 Fan Awards
The winners of each Asia’s Choice – 2020 Fan Awards category were supplied by hundreds of thousands of fan votes, as well as votes from an independent panel of experts comprising veteran journalists Michael Church and Wael Jabir, and Matchday Asia pundit Rhysh Roshan Rai.
Fan votes were given a 60 per cent weighting, with the remaining 40 per cent contributed by the expert panel, culminating in a combined, points-based total for each shortlisted player.
The Asia’s Choice – 2020 Fan Awards are not intended to act as a replacement for the official AFC Annual Awards, but to serve as an opportunity for Asian football’s loyal fans to lend their voice to determining the continent’s best.
Photos: AFP, AFC