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Mark Schwarzer has been announced as the winner of the inagural Australian Footballer of the Year award.

The Fulham goalkeeper is the first winner of the award, introduced this year, and is well deserving of the accolade after a fine first season at Craven Cottage. His outstanding displays in goal helped Fulham maintain a very strong defensive record and helped the club record their highest ever finish of seventh in the Premier League.

Schwarzer was equally outstanding on in the international stage as Australia stormed through Asian/Oceania qualifying to reach next summer’s World Cup in South Africa. He has still yet to be beaten in qualifying for the World Cup finals after keeping Bahrain at bay in a 2-0 win in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Schwarzer told Fox Sports he was delighted by how the season panned out.

It’s been a fantastic season. Obviously you have dreams and ambitions in life and I’ve been very fortunate to live out my dream and along the way accomplish a lot of my life-long goals.

Now I’m going to have to keep looking for new ones, which is great. I love being in that position.