SYDNEY (AFP) - Valencia goalkeeper Mat Ryan has capped a stellar season by being voted player of the year on Wednesday by his fellow professionals in Australia.
The 23-year-old Socceroo, who joined the Spanish Primera Liga side in July, beat off competition from fellow Aussies including Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan to be named Professional Footballers Australia Footballer of the Year.
"This caps off the past 12 months and what a 12 months it has been," said Ryan, who helped Club Brugge to a Cup final win and second place in the Belgian Pro League before making the move to Valencia, which is owned by Singapore tycoon Peter Lim.
"To receive an award like this, which is voted by your colleagues is very humbling."
Ryan was also part of the Socceroos team which won the Asian Cup in January. Former Australian players of the year include Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Mark Schwarzer.