Rachel Daly: Aston Villa and Lionesses star named Women’s Super League player of the season

Rachel Daly has been named the Women’s Super League player of the season after a record-breaking campaign with Aston Villa.

It caps off a fine 12 months for Daly who won Euro 2022 with the Lionesses playing as a left-back. Daly scored 21 goals in 21 league games for Villa this season.

Daly, who joined from the Houston Dash last summer, beat fellow nominees Sam Kerr, Guro Reiten, Ona Batlle, Leah Galton, Kirsty Hanson, Bunny Shaw and Frida Maanum to the award.

Daly’s goal return is the highest tally in a single season by an Englishwoman in WSL history.

She has helped her team to a fifth-placed finish and to a first-ever Women’s FA Cup final.

Daly’s form puts her in contention to be England’s starting No. 9 at the Women’s World Cup this summer.

Daly also picked up the Aston Villa Women 2022-23 supporters’ player of the season and players’ player of the season at the club’s end-of-season awards dinner this week.

Speaking ahead of Villa’s final game of the season against Arsenal on Saturday, manager Carla Ward said about Daly: “She’s been outstanding, her movement in the box is one of the best but she’s needed her team to help her get there, she’ll be the first to say that.

“We actually hoped she’d score eight goals, but 21 is just a ridiculous number, she’s full of confidence and one off (Vivianne) Miedema’s record and I am sure Arsenal will do everything to protect that.

“She won’t play left back (at the World Cup), not a chance. I don’t think anyone believes that either.

“You don’t put the best centre-forward in the country in the backline anymore, she’s proved her worth.”

Daly has 66 caps for the Lionesses with 13 goals.

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