Picking up from where we left off on Monday, we bring you our next ten female footballers as we continue to countdown to the best of the year
90. Simone Boye – Brøndby/Rosengård/Denmark
Consistent as ever for both Brøndby and Denmark, Simone Boye remains one of the best centre backs you’ve never heard of. Boye is an astute defender who reads the game well and organises the back-line with ease. Having earned a summer move over the Øresund, the Zealand native’s season hit an unexpected halt when she was injured during the Euro 2017 final, her cameo appearances for Rosengård at the end of a long season doing little to speak of her quality.
89. Jill Scott – Manchester City/England
England stalwart Jill Scott has been well lauded for her consistency over the Spring Series – the one-time cup-like competition bringing about mixed performances from many in the league. A lynchpin for Manchester City as well as the Lionesses, Scott exemplifies box-to-box football, running the gamut of the pitch game in, game out, tirelessly covering every blade of grass to propel her team along.
88. Julia Spetsmark – KIF Örebro/Sweden
In a miserable season for KIF, Julia Spetsmark was the bright spot that gave Örebro fans something to cheer about. Flirting with breaking into the Swedish team for the last few seasons, 2017 was Spetsmark’s belated break-through season, her creativity and invention earning her a spot on the plane to the Netherlands this summer. Though failing to feature for Pia Sundhage’s Sweden with any frequency Spetsmark returned to Örebro to give the struggling team one last glimmer of survival, though the problems on the pitch ran too deep, the 28-year-old enjoyed the most profitable season of her career – netting some stunners along the way.
87. Vanessa DiBernardo – Perth Glory/Chicago Red Stars
Vanessa DiBernardo had a quiet year by her standards for the Chicago Red Stars but she was still one of the best midfielders in the NWSL over the course of 2017. Although the Red Stars did not make it past the semi-final stage again, DiBernardo will look back on this season with some satisfaction. Her three goals and two assists in 22 appearances may seem small for a midfielder of her talent but it was her overall control of the game in midfield that helped Chicago reach the playoffs once again.
86. Ashley Lawrence – Paris Saint-Germain/Canada
Having already established herself in the Canada team under a coach (John Herdman) that has no qualms about capping younger players, Ashley Lawrence made the bold decision to trade West Virginia University for Paris Saint-Germain last year. Lawrence fast adapted to the pace in Paris and became a regular starter for Patrice Lair, adding needed defensive strength and a positive out when deployed at full-back to tear down the wing and attack as defenders love to do.
85. Johanna Elsig – Turbine Potsdam/Germany
A consistent part of the Potsdam team for the last five years, Johanna Elsig played a key role for the Turbines over the 2016-17 season, marshalling the defence and shielding Lisa Schmitz’ goal for all but 97 minutes of the year. Popping up with an important goal or two over the season, Elsig found consistency where others in the league lacked, her defensive strengths owing to a break-through into Steffi Jones’ Euro squad. Recovering from Potsdam (and Germany’s) collapse over the summer, Elsig has fallen back into step for the start of the 2017-18 Frauen-Bundesliga season.
84. Claire Emslie – Bristol City/Manchester City/Scotland
23-year-old Claire Emslie’s summer move to Manchester City from Bristol could have been telegraphed, the young Scot an instant hit with the Vixens when she joined half-way through the 2016 season. Following on from Bristol’s promotion to WSL 1, Emslie continued to shine, adapting to the top flight with ease, starring whenever given the chance.
With a handful of games under her belt or her new club, Emslie has continued to impress, the Edinburgh native a spark of something special in attack.
83. Svenja Huth – Turbine Potsdam/Germany
Forming a third of the most prolific attack in the Bundesliga last season, Svenja Huth made 2016-17 the season she added another dimension to her game, her work-rate increasing as she set about boosting her value on the pitch. Whether deployed through the middle or roving around on either wing for a three-pronged attack, Huth is never far from a goal, her eye for a neat finish invaluable.
82. Ingrid Moe Wold – LSK/Norway
Norwegian right-back, Ingrid Moe Wold has had another strong year, the ever-reliable defender shining for club and country over the course of 2017. Despite a summer to forget for Norway, Moe Wold excelled with LSK, the Toppserien season happy bookends to the Euros. She won’t grab the headlines, but she’s a fighter, and you can always count on her to deliver a solid defensive performance as well as providing an attacking outlet down the right – and this year was no different from usual as she was crucial for a new-look LSK on their road to gold this season.
A true stalwart, in October Moe Wold – who is known for never getting injured – reached an impressive and rare milestone when she played her 175th consecutive league game in a row for LSK.
81. Griedge Mbock Bathy – Olympique Lyonnais/France
Young French defender Griedge Mbock Bathy had another great year with French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais, as they, once again completed the treble, lifting the league, French Cup and Champions League trophies. Personally, it was also a good year for Mbock as she became a regular for her club team. Mbock is composed beyond her years, and has slotted in almost seemingly into the Lyon defence after joining in 2015. She’s a powerful player, who can also get involved in the game if called upon. At just 22 years old, Mbock is already one of the best defenders in the world, and it seems like only the sky is the limit for her.
80-71 coming on Friday...