Brisbane Roar W-League midfielder Katrina Gorry has thanked family, teammates and Head Coach Belinda Wilson after she was nominated for the AFC Player of the Year.
Gorry admitted she was pleasantly surprised when she received the email from the Asian Football Confederation saying she was nominated for the prestigious award, quickly calling her mum to tell her the great news.
“I didn’t even really know it existed, I thought there was a player of the tournament award and that already happened,” said Gorry, who both joined Brisbane Roar and made her Westfield Matildas debut in 2012.
“It has been a bit of a surprise at how quickly it’s all happened for me.
“My family have always been there to support me through the ups and downs. Big thanks to my mum, dad and step mum who travel to every Roar game – home and away – to support me.
“I also want to thank David, my mum’s partner, who paid for a lot of things when I was younger to help my football progress to where it is now.”
Nominated alongside two-time winner Aya Miyama and her Nadeshiko teammate Nahomi Kawasumi, Gorry was also surprised not all three nominees were from Japan, who defeated Australia 1-0 in this year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Vietnam.
“Miyama is an incredible player and to be nominated next to her is an honour,” the 22-year-old said.
“All of the Japanese team that we faced in the Asian Cup final were technically awesome so I feel privileged to be in the top three for Player of the Year.”
It’s been a whirlwind two years for Gorry, who previously played for Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory in the Westfield W-League before returning to Queensland to play for the Roar.
She heaped the plaudits on her Brisbane and Australia teammates as well as Head Coach Belinda Wilson for their role in her progression over the past two seasons.
“I knew coming into the Roar team that it would be awesome – the squad is filled with determined girls who are quality players,” Gorry said.
“Developing the skills that I have here has helped me along the way and it’s the same with the Matildas.
“Training is intense and we know we have to push each other to improve because there are a lot of young girls also putting the pressure on.
“When Belinda first spoke to me, she knew the kind of player I was and gave me the freedom I wanted when playing.
“I want to be creative and she told me to take risks in the attacking third. She doesn’t put any rules on me when I play and that has helped me immensely.”
The winner of the AFC Player of the Year will be announced at the AFC Annual Awards in Manila on Sunday, 30 November in conjunction with the AFC’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
The club is currently working with AFC to allow for Gorry to travel to the Philippines after the Round 11 match against Canberra United on Saturday, 29 November at Suncorp Stadium.