After an amazing 2012 Steph Houghton is in the running for fans' Player of the Year
England defender Steph Houghton admits that 2012 has been a spectacular year.
Her efforts for her country, as well as for her club, have certainly made her a strong contender for the England Women's Player of the Year Award
Not only did she win The FA Women's Super League
and Cup double with Arsenal domestically, but the left-back played a major part at London 2012 as Team GB reached the quarter-finals and also helped England qualify for the 2013 UEFA European Championship
In fact, she appeared in all nine games for Hope Powell's Three Lions, scoring three times, and during the Olympics, equalled that scoring feat for Great Britain with one goal in each group game.
And most memorably it was her match winner at Wembley Stadium for Team GB against Brazil that she says came as a shock.
When Houghton recalls the events of this year, the 24-year-old admits she still gets goosebumps.
"I'm running out of superlatives for 2012," she said in an interview with the Independent
. "It is a little bit surreal to be honest. I don't think I've kept a smile off my face all year.
"What has happened this year is what I dreamt of when I was playing football in the school yard. All I ever wanted to do was play football."
She continued: "It was a shock more than anything when I scored [against Brazil]. I didn't know what I was doing. I tried to get a touch to it and then tried to hit it as hard as I could and it went in.
"The noise, that's what I can remember. And when I watch it back with the commentary it gives me goosebumps."
Houghton added: "We fought so hard to win that game. It was unbelievable when the final whistle went.
"After the match I jumped over the barrier to give my dad a hug, and then I went to see my mam and gave her a kiss and a cuddle as well. She was crying, she was really blubbing."
But will Steph have something else to celebrate at The FA England Awards on 3 February
? If you think she deserves the award, you can vote for Houghton, or one of the other nine contenders, in the poll below.