Cooney-Cross' deserved recognition after stellar season

Kyra Cooney-Cross' Grand Final heroics capped a fine season that saw her win the Westfield W-League Young Player of the Year Award.

The 19-year-old's rise continued in 2020/21, a season which ended with Cooney-Cross curling in a corner in the final minute of extra-time to secure a 1-0 win over Sydney FC in April's decider.

Unsurprisingly, a Westfield Matildas debut followed against Denmark earlier this month.

It came off the back of Cooney-Cross' best domestic campaign yet, and the Young Player of the Year award was deserved recognition.

Cooney-Cross' numbers in 2020/21 told part of the story.

  • Equal fifth for goals with six.
  • Equal fourth for assists with four.
  • First for chances created with 41, nine more than any other player.
  • Third for shots with 38.
  • First for crosses with 82.

Cooney-Cross' dynamism and creativity were on show throughout, and her dangerous set-pieces were a feature, with the Grand Final 'Olimpico' barely coming as a surprise.

While Cooney-Cross showed her ability to deliver the spectacular with stunning strikes against Perth Glory and Sydney FC and the Grand Final winner, she also produced numerous all-action displays to lift Victory.

With Victory's season building, Cooney-Cross' former club, the Western Sydney Wanderers, visited AAMI Park on March 4, with Jeff Hopkins' side having played four days earlier.

A Cooney-Cross set-piece would lead to Annalie Longo's first-half winner, but there was a lot more to a standout display.

While she created an equal game-high three chances, Cooney-Cross also topped the list of any player in the clash for tackles (six), duels (21 – eight more than the next best), and duels won (12 – double the next best) in an outstanding performance.

It was an inspired display, in a game in which she finished without a goal or a credited assist, but showcased just what else she was capable of.

Cooney-Cross received the recognition she deserved on Wednesday night, and it looks like just the beginning.