LEAH BURRIDGE, Helen Bleazard and Katie Middleton were among the winners at Plymouth Argyle Ladies’ end-of-season awards evening.
The event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic and more than 1,000 people voted for the supporters’ player-of-the-year.
That award went to Burridge, who polled 45 per cent of the votes cast in the survey, set up by coach Vicki Fannon.
The 23-year-old joined Argyle on loan from Yeovil Town in January 2019 before committing herself to the Pilgrims on a permanent basis.
The popular found it hard to find a place in a quality midfield but settled in at right-back before returning to her favoured midfield position at the latter part of the season.
She said: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who voted for me for supporters’ player. I have thoroughly enjoyed the season with Plymouth Argyle Ladies. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without such a great team of players and management.”
The first team players’ player of the year award went to Bleazard.
The 29-year-old Wales international, who has had a stellar career with Yeovil Town, Bristol City and Chelsea, including playing in the 2011 FA Cup final, joined Argyle during the 2018 season. She has been described by manager Dave Leonard as a ‘true professional’.
She enjoyed an outstanding season and at her experience and quality was recognised by her team-mates.
The first team manager’s player of the year went to Middleton. Boss Leonard selected the award with the help of coaches Marc Bonney, Jason Haswell and Fannon, but it was left to director of football Trevor Rodd to cast his deciding vote in favour of the long-serving Middleton.
Middleton has enjoyed a 20-year career with Argyle and Rodd, who presented the trophy, described her as a ‘an inspiration, a true leader and Miss Argyle Ladies’.
“Kate truly is inspiring and a role model to the young generation we have coming through,” added Rodd.
Cornish striker Nicola Champion claimed both the players’ player of the year and manager’s award for Argyle’s development team.
Manager Rob Bonney said: “Nicola has shown huge amounts of dedication – rarely missing training and playing in all fixtures for the development team. Nicola has also been rewarded with a first team call up.”
He added: “Nic has added so much more to her game – she can go long, she can come short and she is strong and holds the ball up so well now and brings other players into the game. She will sniff a chance out in the 18-yard box but also will punish you from distance if you don’t close her down.
“She is a perfect example for players at the club who have ambitions to reach a level to play in the first team.
“They have to work even harder to stay there and not take anything for granted. Nic is one of a group of girls in the development squad that will be hoping to grab the first team management staffs’ attention in the 2020-21 season.”