By Peter Glynn
Women’s football enjoyed a successful evening at the first ever FA England Awards ceremony held at St. George’s Park on Sunday night.
Hope Powell’s England Women’s squad received the prestigious Club England Team of the Year award from England’s most capped player Peter Shilton.
National Coach Powell admitted a little shock at the award, before recognising the efforts of all involved.
She said: “It was a bit of a surprise, but I’m really pleased for them. They’ve worked really hard. For them to achieve this award is congratulations to them, it’s fantastic.”
Speaking on stage Women’s captain Casey Stoney expressed pride at the recognition, stressing the contribution of the whole squad.
Stoney said: "It's a huge honour. It’s a huge privilege to be stood up here in front of all these talented people.
“But it’s all about the girls who put in the hard work week in, week out."
Stoney went on to underline the importance of this type of recognition for growing the women’s game and attracting more young girls to the sport.
“Having seen the influx of young girls playing now, particularly post-Olympics, I think young players have role models and females in the game to look up to."
Some of those role models were afforded individual recognition for their contribution to the growing profile of the women’s game.
Steph Houghton of Arsenal Ladies, who enjoyed an impressive campaign for Team GB during the Olympics,was named England Women’s Player of the Year.
Everton dominated the other categories, with the Toffees’ Toni Duggan receiving the England Women's U23 Player of the Year award and Alex Greenwood recognised as the Youth Player of the Year award.