PFA announce shortlist for Women's Player of the Year award

The Professional Footballers' Association today announced the shortlist for their annual Player and Young Player of the season awards, the winner of which will be announced on 23rd April.

In the women's category for Player of the Year, there are three Manchester City players, who were all a part of the title winning WSL 1 side. Lucy Bronze, Jane Ross, and Jill Scott are all on the list, alongside Karen Carney, Ellen White and Caroline Weir who has also been nominated for the young player award.

Also on the list for young player of the year is another trio of City players with Georgia Stanway, Keira Walsh and Nikita Parris shortlisted. Also up for the award are Millie Bright and Jess Carter.

Last year, Izzy Christiansen was the player of the year, whilst Beth Mead won young player of the year.

Player of the year

It is likely that like last year, the women's player of the year will go to someone at Manchester City after their unbeaten WSL campaign in 2016. The first player on the list is Bronze, who was as consistent as ever in the City defence, cementing her place as one of the best players in her position. She was a part of a team that conceded just four times in sixteen WSL matches last season.

Scotland's Ross was meanwhile a constant threat up front for City, scoring eight goals, one fewer than Eniola Aluko who finished as the WSL's top scorer in 2016. As for Scott, she continued to show what an imposing figure in midfield she can be, missing just one game for City in the WSL, as she contributed three goals to their campaign.

Another Scot on the list is Liverpool's Weir, who in many senses had a breakthrough season after moving from Bristol ahead of last term. The 21 year old had a terrific season and that is backed up by being named on the list for player, and young player of the year at the 2017 awards. Weir scored seven goals in the league last season, which included a fine free-kick against her former club Arsenal, and also two brilliant goals against Doncaster Belles towards the end of the campaign.

The shortlist also contains Carney and White, which is perhaps a little more surprising than the names above. Carney struggled somewhat to show the same sort of form she has shown throughout her career after her move to Chelsea at the start of last season. Nonetheless she was still a threat to the opposition on a regular basis. She featured in every one of Chelsea's games, scoring three goals in the WSL.

White has meanwhile suffered from a tough few years with injury, but will be delighted to be back close to her best. Before moving to Birmingham for the 2017 season, she played ten times for Notts County in the WSL in 2016, scoring three goals as she earned a place on the shortlist.

Young player of the year

The young player of the season could well go to a Man City player too, with Parris, Walsh and Stanway all vying for the award. Parris was one of the surprise packages of the 2016 WSL season, playing in every game of Man City's title winning campaign, where the 23 year old scored four goals along the way.

As for Walsh, she has become a key part of Nick Cushing's team despite being just 19 years of age last season. Now 20 years old, she played a significant role in the Man City midfield last season next to Scott.

Stanway is meanwhile one of the hottest prospects in women's football at the moment. Despite being just 18 years of age she was still able to play an important part for Man City last season. She featured ten times, scoring four goals in the WSL, which also included a hat-trick against Sunderland. As well as that she was nominated for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award in 2016, and scored three times for England at the U17 Women's World Cup in Jordan.

Birmingham's 19 year old defender, Carter, is also up for the award after another impressive season where she played every WSL game. She broke into the Birmingham team at just sixteen and has been going from strength to strength since. Carter recently signed a new deal with her club in January but a bigger move could well be on the horizon if she continues to impress in 2017.

The final shortlisted name for the young player award is Chelsea midfielder Bright. Now 23 years of age she had another consistent season in a side that finished as runner's up in the WSL. Bright missed just one WSL game last term, scoring once. She meanwhile earned her first England call-up back in September and has been selected for the upcoming European Championships.