Fran Kirby named Football Writers' Association Women's Footballer of the Year
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 24/04/18 11:34am
Fran Kirby has won the inaugural Football Writers' Association Women's Footballer of the Year award after excelling for England and Chelsea Ladies this season.
Kirby has scored 22 goals in all competitions for Women's Super League leaders Chelsea and has been instrumental in helping the Blues reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
The 24-year-old picks up her second individual honour in as many days after winning the vote for the Professional Footballers' Association Women's Player of the Year on Monday.
"I think it's really special to win both of the awards. One is just as important as the other," said Kirby.
"For me, the PFA award is voted for by people I am playing against week in week out, so it's nice to feel that I am respected by them, but also by people who are watching as well, the experts.
"It's nice to win both awards and feel like people respect me as a footballer."
Kirby fended off competition from her international team-mates Lucy Bronze, Isobel Christiansen, Jordan Nobbs and Jodie Taylor to win the FWA award, which was announced on Sportswomen on Tuesday.
"We all respect each other as players and as people, so for me to win the award ahead of those players is absolutely tremendous," said Kirby. "There are some fantastic players in that shortlist.
"I'm really happy but also congratulations to the other girls who were nominated."
Kirby says she feels honoured to receive the inaugural FWA award and believes the new individual accolade shows the growth of the women's game in England.
"It's massive. As long as these opportunities keep coming around, it is going to be so important for the growth of the women's game," she said.
"It's really shown the level of the game has increased because more people want to be involved.
"As long as we keep progressing as teams in the WSL and as a league, people will continue to get involved. That's really important."