In a star-studded squad full of new arrivals and massive international stars assembled at (relatively) great expense, it was a long-time Chelsea player who shone brightest this season.
Super Fran Kirby was named Chelsea Women’s Player of the Year yesterday — for the second time in her career — and it’s hard to think of a more deserving recipient after making her comeback with a career year in an historic season for the club, and one coming off a career-threatening battle with pericarditis. Kirby led the league in goal contributions (16 goals, 11 assists), led the team with 6 goals on our way to the Champions League final, while also becoming Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer in the process.
Kirby joined Chelsea (“Ladies” at the time) from hometown club Reading in 2015, for a British record fee of around £40-60k, just as we won the club’s first major piece of silverware, the 2015 FA Cup, and just as the team turned professional full-time. Kirby is the first player since to win this award twice, having also been named Player of the Year in 2018.
Kirby, who will turn 28 this summer, has signed on for two more years with a club-option for a third earlier this season, which should be plenty of time to keep growing her legend.
Congrats, Super Fran!