Chelsea Ladies dominate shortlist for player of the year

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Chelsea Ladies dominate the Women’s Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year shortlist with five of the six candidates.

A stellar season for Emma Hayes’ team is nearing its climax, with the Blues sitting top of the Women’s Super League and one step away from the Champions League final.

Their England striker Fran Kirby (pictured) and defender Millie Bright are strong contenders for the top award. They are joined on the list by three club-mates in South Korean playmaker Ji So-yun, Norwegian midfielder Maren Mjelde and Swiss forward Ramona Bachmann.

Manchester City Women midfielder Jill Scott is the one non-Chelsea player on the list, rewarded for her strong season with club and country.

Kirby has been a prolific scorer for Chelsea this term, already reaching the 20-goal mark. Such form has established the 24-year-old as a worthy name in the frame.

The 5ft 2in Kirby was nicknamed ‘Mini Messi’ by former England Women manager Mark Sampson and has already taken up a key role in new boss Phil Neville’s Lionesses team.

Players from the 10 Women’s Super League top-tier teams were eligible to vote in both categories and winners will be announced at the PFA awards dinner in London on Sunday, April 22.