WA soccer gun Sam Kerr named Young Australian of the Year

The goals seemingly never end, nor do the accolades for Sam Kerr, with the Matildas striker being named Young Australian of the Year.

The 24-year-old from Fremantle, who once dreamed of playing for the West Coast Eagles, has become one of the leading players in the world and the face of the women's game in Australia.

Now she has one more reason to rattle off her signature backflip celebration, which has been in heavy rotation after a brilliant run for the national side and as the all-time leading scorer in the American National Women's Soccer League.

Kerr has scored 19 goals in 57 appearances in the green and gold, including a double in a friendly with China in November, the first of which was a wonder strike that extended her already lengthy highlight reel.

Her omission from the final shortlist for last year's Best FIFA Women's Player baffled everyone bar the judges. There was no such disappointment this time, with Kerr joining the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Nova Peris-Kneebone and Ian Thorpe as other notable athletes to win the award.

Kerr was always a football prodigy. She made her debut for the Matildas when she was 15 and went on to play in the W-League for Perth Glory and Sydney FC while also campaigning for the Western New York Flash in the WNSL.

She played for New Jersey outfit Sky Blue FC from 2015 and last season won the Golden Boot award before a switch to Chicago Red Stars for the 2018 campaign.

Kerr has not only become an inspiration for a generation of young female footballers but could well be Australia's best player of either sex. Her appeal has long crossed any gender divide, with a trio of boys recently knocking on her door for a dream game of park football in Perth.

Others in the running were scientist and inventor Macinley Butson (NSW), outreach worker Zack Bryers (ACT), ex-soldier and mental health campaigner Phillip Thompson (Qld) and Victoria's Georgie Stone, a trailblazing transgender teen activist.


This story WA soccer gun Sam Kerr named Young Australian of the Year first appeared on The Age.