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Ninkovic wins Australian A-League's player of the year award

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/05/2017

SYDNEY — Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic has won the Australian A-League's player of the season award.

The 32-year-old ex-Serbia international tallied 44 points to hold off Perth Glory's Diego Castro by seven and Western Sydney's Nico Martinez by 15.

Ninkovic scored nine goals and had 11 assists in his second A-League season, helping Sydney FC to top the league standings in the regular season and advance to Sunday's grand final against Melbourne Victory.

"The medal is an award only for me — the grand final is an award for everyone, because I know how we work hard every day," Ninkovic said. "I would like, if I could, to swap this trophy with the grand final" win.

In other awards announced Monday, Sydney FC manager Graham Arnold took the top honors among the coaches, while Victory striker Besart Berisha shared the golden boot (19 goals) with Brisbane Roar's Jamie Maclaren, who was also voted the young player of the season.

Socceroos veteran Tim Cahill won the goal of the year award for his 35-meter strike in the second round for Melbourne City.

Samantha Kerr won the women's player of the year and the women's goal of the year awards.

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