Former England captain Faye White picks Steph Houghton as her Player of the Year
Faye White has selected Steph Houghton as her England Women’s Player of 2012.
The former national team skipper has plumped for her Arsenal club-mate following the 24-year-old’s impressive displays for the Three Lions during the last calendar year.
Houghton played in all nine England games in 2012, one of only two players to do so, and scored three goals – a brace against Croatia in March and a free-kick against France in October.
She also helped the Gunners achieve back-to-back League and League Cup doubles.
White said: “Steph really broke into the staring eleven last year and was asked to play in a number of positions.
“She eventually found a home at left-back and adapted very well.
“She put in solid and consistent performances throughout last year and she has a great deal of confidence in her ability in both attacking and defending situations.”
However, it was perhaps her performances for Team GB during the Olympics that made Houghton a household name.
She scored in each of Team GB’s group matches, including the winner against Brazil in front of over 70,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
Houghton said of London 2012: “I struggle to put into words how amazing it was to be a part of Team GB.
“Playing four games in big stadiums in front of huge crowds is something we are never going to forget.
“To say that you have been a part of an Olympics is something we should all be proud of.
“It is really pleasing to hear that we helped changed some people’s opinion of women’s football.
“A lot of people had a perception that women’s football is not as good as men’s football. Yes, the men’s game is faster than ours and they are a lot more powerful than us but in terms of technical ability I think the Olympics showed how good women’s football can be.
“It is something we have to take advantage of.”
Will Steph get your vote?
You can also choose your Men's Senior and Men's Under-21s Players of 2012, the winners of all three awards will be presented with their prizes at the inaugural FA England Awards in association with Vauxhall at St. George's Park on Sunday 3 February 2013.
Voting for all will close at midnight on Sunday 13 January 2013.