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Fran Kirby named Women’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year

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Chelsea superstar Fran Kirby has been named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year after leading Emma Hayes’ Blues to WSL glory.

With 26 goals and 19 assists in all competitions, Kirby was in sublime form as Chelsea roared to success in the WSL and League Cup, and the Blues’ all-time top scorer also helped them to their first Champions League final.

The 27-year-old picked up the FWA Footballer of the Year award just a few weeks ago, and now she had added her second PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, fending off competition from Chelsea teammates Sam Kerr and Ann-Katrin Berger.

“First and foremost, my team-mates are amazing, and I would never have won any of the awards or trophies that I have without them, but to win this is really special,” said Kirby.

“I think what we’ve achieved has been incredible, so I’m really proud to be a part of this team. Hopefully, I will be able to come back into the same kind of position I came into last year, because I’ve been playing like I love the game again and like I enjoy it, and that’s when you get the best out of me.”

Kirby enjoyed a fantastic individual season / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Kirby, who won the award back in 2018 as well, joins an elite list of two-time winners including Kevin De Bruyne, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucy Bronze, Gareth Bale, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Mark Hughes.

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For the Young Player of the Year award, Manchester City starlet Lauren Hemp continued her domination of the category, picking up her third trophy in just four years.

The winner in both 2018 and 2020, Hemp was also nominated for the Player of the Year award off the back of a campaign which saw the 20-year-old midfielder rack up six goals and eight assists in 15 appearances.

“It feels pretty special to be picked amongst fellow professionals who I play against each week,” said Hemp. “It’s really nice, and to me, it’s one of the best accolades one can win – it’s a real honour.

“I’m really proud of the team and hopefully, next season, we can win the league and push further in the Champions League, because I’m here to win trophies and I know all my teammates would love to do the same.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have many excellent coaches throughout my journey, and I just hope to keep on improving because I know I’m not the finished product and I know I can only just keep getting better.”

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