Women's football: Casey Stoney wins FA Player of the Year award

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
England captain Casey Stoney caps year with 'huge' FA award

England captain Casey Stoney says she was shocked to win the Football Association's International Player of the Year prize at the FA Women's football awards.

The Lincoln Ladies defender took over as England captain this season and led Team GB at the Olympics in what she called "the best year of her life".

Stoney, who received her award from England manager Roy Hodgson, told BBC Sport: "I had a couple of names in my head that I thought would win it but my name wasn't one of those."

She added: "For Roy to call my name out was huge.

"I am in even more of a shock than when I first won it in 2008, especially off the back of such an important year. It was emotional and I was massively proud."

Stoney and Birmingham's Rachel Unitt both received golden caps for making 100 England appearances.

Stoney received her award after an unprecedented year for women's football in England, with the FA Women's Super League growing in strength and record crowds attending the game at domestic and international level.

Other players to be honoured included Arsenal and England winger Rachel Yankey, who received a special award for passing the previous record of England 119 caps.

The domestic honours were headed by Bristol's Jess Fishlock, who was a popular choice for the FA Women's Super League Players' Player of the year.

Her manager Mark Sampson also won coach of the year in the women's top flight.

Birmingham Ladies won team of the year at the awards in central London for their FA Cup triumph and finishing runners-up to FA WSL winners Arsenal.

Lincoln's Megan Harris won goal of the season for her volley against Arsenal, while Liverpool's Nicky Davies won goalkeeper of the year.

Stoney, 30, said she was disappointed that Team GB only made it as far as the last eight at the Olympics, but added she is determined to win next year's European Championship.

"I remember speaking to my family the other day saying if I've ever had a year in my life that I could describe as the best year ever, it's absolutely been this year," said Storey.

"I don't know if I'll ever top it - England captain, GB captain, beating Brazil in front of 70,000 people at Wembley. We could have won a gold medal at the Olympics, which was massively disappointing for me but to win this award is huge.

"I'm looking towards next year and it's all about the next year and winning something at a major championships. This year will stay with me forever."

Hodgson said: "It has been a fantastic year of sport, in particular with the Olympics and in particular women's football, and Team GB should be very proud of their achievements.

"Hope [Powell] and the girls did a magnificent job and it's nice to be part of their awards ceremony and to see them receiving the acclaim they truly deserve."

Full list of winners:

Top Goalscorer, FA Women's Premier League National Division: Beth Mead, Sunderland (18 goals)

Top Goalscorer, FA Women's Premier League Northern Division: Jodie Michalska, Sheffield FC (18 goals)

Top Goalscorer, FA Women's Premier League Southern Division: Natasha Knapman, Plymouth Argyle (14 goals)

Top Goalscorer, FA WSL: Kim Little, Arsenal (11 goals)

FA Digital Award: Yeovil Town (with special mention to FA WSL clubs)

FA Young Player of the Year: Alex Greenwood, Everton

FA Goalkeeper of the Year: Nicky Davies, Liverpool

FA Goal of the Year: Megan Harris, Lincoln

FA Coach of the Year, FA Women's Premier League: John Saloman, Watford

FA Coach of the Year, FA WSL: Mark Sampson, Bristol Academy

FA Players' Player of the Year: Jess Fishlock, Bristol Academy

FA International Player of the Year: Casey Stoney

FA Club of the Year: Birmingham City

Special Achievement Award: Trevor Clifton

100 England caps: Fara Williams, Casey Stoney, Rachel Unitt