The 2021/22 PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year nominees have been announced with current holder Fran Kirby not among the candidates.
The Chelsea forward was pipped to the shortlist by team-mates Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr, both of whom enjoyed stellar campaigns as Emma Hayes’ Blues secured the Women’s Super League title, finishing ahead of runners-up Arsenal by the single point.
The duo were also sensational as the capital club won the Women’s FA Cup, beating Manchester City 3-2 after extra-time at Wembley last month, with Kerr netting a brace and ultimately, the tournament-winning goal in the 99th minute under the arch.
Chelsea also reached the Women’s League Cup final, but lost out to City 3-1 in Wimbledon, with Kerr once against getting on the scoresheet. Despite that defeat, a WSL and FA Cup double is certainly not to be sniffed at, capping a remarkable campaign for Hayes.
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Kerr finished as the WSL’s top scorer in 2021/22, as the only player to net 20 goals and one of only two players to score a hat-trick, alongside Khadija Shaw of Manchester City. The Australian also finished April with the final Player of the Month award as Chelsea secured the title.
Pernille Harder was also impressive as the Norwegian finished as Chelsea second-highest scorer across all competitions, bagging 14 goals, and playing a crucial role to Hayes in those aforementioned triumphs, not least scoring the winning goal in the club’s penultimate game against Birmingham City.
City duo Alex Greenwood and Lauren Hemp also made the shortlist as Gareth Taylor’s side won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final. Hemp was one of just four players in the WSL to notch double digits for the season (10), while she also finished fourth for most assists (six).
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Alex Greenwood was a rock in defence as the club finished with the third-best defensive record in the WSL table, while she also featured the most times for City across all competitions in 2021/22, underlining her consistency in the heart of Taylor’s backline.
Concluding the duos, Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little complete the six-player shortlist. Miedema, the 2018/19 recipient of the award, finished the season second only the Kerr in the WSL scoring charts, bagging 14, while no other player registered more than her eight assists.
Skipper Kim Little was also highly influential as Jonas Eidevall’s side pushed Chelsea all the way in the WSL title race and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League and League Cup, not to mention the FA Cup semi-finals.