Chelsea Ladies star named Player of the Year

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Chelsea Ladies striker Fran Kirby’s excellent form has been recognised by her peers as she won the vote for the Professional Footballers’ Association Women’s Player of the Year.

The 24-year-old has been an inspiration for the swashbuckling Blues this year, and has netted 22 goals in all competitions so far this term to help the west Londoners run amok.

Kirby was one of five players from unbeaten Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea to be shortlisted for the award, with Millie Bright, Ji So-yun, Maren Mjelde and Ramona Bachmann joining her and Manchester City’s Jill Scott.

“It’s pretty special for me,” the former Reading striker said at Sunday night’s ceremony at the Grosvenor House in central London.

“It’s very humbling because it’s voted for by the people I play against week in, week out, so I’m absolutely delighted to win.

[/media-credit] Kirby has been outstanding this season

“A massive thank you to everyone who has voted for me and to my team-mates who helped me get here.”

She continued: “In every game that I play in, I try to do something that I’ll remember after the game.

“It’s been such a whirlwind of a season and, having come off an injury last season, the highlight has been being able to play week in, week out without getting any injuries.”

Kirby was speaking after picking up her award just hours after playing in Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Wolfsburg in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Emma Hayes’ side head to Germany for the return fixture next Sunday, before the FA Women’s Cup final against Arsenal and the conclusion of a memorable WSL campaign.