Lucy Bronze wins PFA women's player of the year

23 April 2017 11:24

Manchester City and England star Lucy Bronze has won the Professional Footballers' Association women's player of the year award.

Bronze, 25, also won the award in 2014 and overcame competition from City team-mates Jane Ross and Jill Scott. Ellen White, Karen Carney and Caroline Weir were the other players nominated for the senior player award.

Birmingham's 19-year-old midfielder Jess Carter was chosen by her peers as the women's young player of the year.

Manchester City's strong representation in both categories was due to their excellent Women's Super League campaign in 2016, when they marched to the title without losing a single game.

Ross and Liverpool midfielder Weir both look set to feature in the Scotland team that face England at Euro 2017 this summer.

Bronze and Scott will represent England at the showpiece tournament in Holland, along with attacking midfielder Carney - a consistently strong performer for Chelsea last term - and Birmingham forward White, who scored the winner against the United States at the SheBelieves Cup last month.

England full-back Bronze said: "It's the best award to be nominated for, really, you can get managers and supporters awards, fans awards, but for the players that you play against week in, week out, to think of you in their head as the best player of the season, to be nominated and put in the team, was unbelievable.

"It's not really sunk in that I actually won the award, but it's a huge honour, and I'm so grateful.

"I wouldn't necessarily say I'm the most talented footballer in the world - I've got a few good attributes - but I love to win, I'm a winner, I work hard, and that's all I've ever done and all I've ever known.

"That's the key to the success at City, we've got players who want to win, who want to be successful, and they know how to work hard to get there."

On her team-mates, Bronze continued: "The fact half the (PFA) team is dominated by City players this year is credit to the team, and the fact I've won the award is credit to the players around me as well.

"I formed a great partnership with the likes of Steph Houghton, not just for City but for England, and those relationships are really important to the success of both club and country - and the City players performing well individually has really contributed to our team success, and hopefully it continues."

On the PFA's contribution to the development of the women's game, Bronze added: "You look at nights like tonight, and the fact that there is a women's team of the year, a young player of the year, a senior player of the year, is massive to the players, that they can see that.

"They can see that they are being represented the same as the men are; it makes you stand a little bit taller as a woman.

"Anything they do for the men, they're going to do the exact same for the women, and they all really appreciate it."

Carter secured more votes in the young player category than the Manchester City trio of Nikita Parris, Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh, plus Weir and Chelsea's Millie Bright.

Carter said: "It (the women's young player of the year award) could have gone to any one of the girls that have been nominated, because I think they're all exceptional, so it's a massive, massive privilege to collect this award.

"I don't set any goals. My main focus is just playing for Birmingham, because they're my club, and I want to perform for them week in and week out. Anything that comes with that is just a massive privilege."

As for the forthcoming cup final against Manchester City on May 13, Carter added: "We've always been labelled the underdogs, and the fact we've had to compete against the best, such as Arsenal and Chelsea, to get there, just proves where this club is going and the group of players that we've got, so it's a massive, exciting opportunity for us."

Arsenal's former England international Kelly Smith landed the PFA special achievement award and said: " When I started out playing football as a little girl I never imagined me reaching the heights that I have, in my 20-odd year career.

"It's been a phenomenal journey: lots of highs, lots of lows, but I've really enjoyed every moment of it, and I feel very privileged to be here tonight to pick this up."

Source: PA