Chelsea and England forward Fran Kirby has been voted the Footballer Writers’ Association’s Women’s footballer of the year, beating her Australian strike partner Sam Kerr into second spot.
Kirby has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season for the FA Women’s Super League winners, who will play the Women’s Champions League final against Barcelona in Gothenburg on Sunday.
Despite the brilliance of golden boot winner Kerr, the 27-year-old Kirby was the unanimous choice of a panel of more than 30 football writers who specialise in the women’s game.
England international Kirby is the recipient of the award for the second time, having been presented with the inaugural FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year trophy in 2018.
Kirby, who joined the Blues from Reading during 2015, was the stand-out performer in the WSL, scoring 16 goals with 11 assists.
And her return to form comes after being sidelined from November 2019 onwards last season, having been diagnosed with pericarditis.
“When I first started off this year, I didn’t have any expectations to win awards like these, so it is really special and something that I am really, really proud of,” Kirby said.
“You never get to win these awards without the players that you play with and the staff that you work with.
“For me this year I have just seen a real different mindset from everyone, myself included, from three years ago.
“It is a really confident group and I think for me what has been the biggest difference is the drive from every player, not moments here and there – it has been consistent all the way through.”
Kerr, who led the scoring charts with 21 goals, was second in the FWA vote, with Manchester City and England winger Chloe Kelly third.