Pernille Harder and Stine Larsen were named Best Female Player and Best Young Player respectively last night, as Denmark's best footballing talent was honoured at the Danish Football Awards.
Harder takes home the prize – again
While her club, Linköpings FC, had a less than stellar 2015, Harder herself had a year to remember.
Linköping suffered defeat at the hands of Danish side Brøndby IF in the UEFA Women's Champions League and only finished fourth in the Damallsvenskan. For a club with hopes of winning the league, that was a disappointment, even though they were in with a shot until the bitter end.
Linköping had many outstanding performers last year, but Harder stood out a little more than the rest. For this she was awarded individual prizes such as the best player in the Swedish league and a place in the team of the year, both awarded by the Swedish player association. The Swedish football association also named her the most valuable player in the country, as well as the best forward.
In Denmark, she has swept up all the awards as well. In December, she was named the best female player in Denmark by the Danish players association. So it came as no surprise when she took home the award for Best Female Player at the Danish Football Awards on Monday evening.
While it was expected that Harder would win, she was up against great competition from Sanne Troelsgaard (Kolding Q), Sofie Junge (FC Rosengård) and Simone Boye Sørensen (Brøndby), who have all had great years.
While accepting the award, Harder made sure to thank her family and her significant other, who, as she said, is an integral part of her being able to achieve all of this. She also added that she hopes: “2016 [will] be even better – that I can win the league with Linköping and qualify for Euro 2017 in Holland with the national team.”
Larsen sees off strong competition
The 20-year-old defender, who we had as one of our breakthrough stars of 2015, has had a year to remember. She has been tremendous for Brøndby, and has been granted several starts in the heart of the defence of the national team.
Upon receiving her award for Best Young Player, Larsen was quick to thank her “family, boyfriend, coaches throughout her career and her amazing teammates” during her acceptance speech.
She faced competition from Sara Thrige Andersen (Kolding Q), Maja Kildemoes (Odense Boldklub), and Sarah Dyrehauge (Fortuna Hjørring). While they would all have been worthy winners, Larsen's 2015 was something special.