Sunderland striker named in team of the year as PFA launches investigation over leak

Beth Mead celebrates scoring for Sunderland Ladies
Beth Mead celebrates scoring for Sunderland Ladies
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Sunderland striker Beth Mead has been named in the PFA Women’s Super League team of the year.

The 20-year-old scored 12 goals in 14 games last season for Sunderland Ladies and her superb form in front of goal resulted in an international call-up with England.

It comes as the Professional Footballers’ Association has launched an investigation after its team of the year announcements were leaked ahead of its awards dinner.

Line-ups appeared on Twitter on Thursday, prompting the PFA to bring forward confirmation of its line-ups which had been due to be revealed on Sunday.

The individual player of the year announcements were not leaked.

The PFA, which is headed by chief executive Gordon Taylor, will look at how the information made its way into the public domain, firstly by seeking answers from printers of its awards ceremony brochure.

The Times reported a Twitter user had received the brochure and posted the teams online, where they were widely shared.

In a statement on its website, the players’ union said: “The PFA is disappointed that a member of the public has chosen to deliberately leak our representative teams from the official brochure of the awards evening.

“As a matter of urgency, we are seeking a detailed explanation from the brochure printers as to how they were able to secure a copy of the publication.

“The unveiling of the PFA representative teams is eagerly awaited by our members and football fans throughout the country and we hope that the unfortunate leak does not affect the wide-ranging debate and discussion which accompanies their normal release on the day of the event.”

PFA team of the year: David De Gea (Man Utd); Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Wes Morgan (Leicester), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Danny Rose (Tottenham); Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Dele Alli (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Dimitri Payet (West Ham); Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Harry Kane (Tottenham).

WSL team of the year: Hedvig Lindahl (Chelsea); Lucy Bronze (Man City), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Notts County, now Liverpool); Jo So-yun (Chelsea), Vicky Losada (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Man City), Isobel Christiansen (Chelsea); Beth Mead (Sunderland), Danielle Carter (Arsenal).

Championship team of the year: Tom Heaton (Burnley); Bruno (Brighton), Daniel Ayala/Michael Dawson (Middlesbrough/Hull), Will Keane (Burnley), George Friend (Middlesbrough); Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough), Alan Judge (Brentford), Joey Barton (Burnley), Barry Bannan (Sheff Wed)l Andre Gray (Burnley), Ross McCormack (Fulham).

League One team of the year: Jon McLaughlin (Bradford); Reece Wabara (Wigan), John Egan (Gillingham), Craig Morgan (Wigan), Rico Henry (Walsall); Yanic Wildschut (Wigan), Bradley Dack (Gillingham), Romaine Sawyers (Walsall), Mark Duffy (Burton); Will Grigg (Wigan), Adam Armstrong (Coventry).

League Two team of the year: Adam Smith (Northampton); George Baldock (Oxford), Curtis Nelson (Plymouth), Aaron Pierre (Wycombe), Joe Jacobson (Wycombe); Ricky Holmes (Northampton), John-Joe O’Toole (Northampton), Matt Crooks (Accrington), Kemar Roofe (Oxford); Jay Simpson (Leyton Orient), Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers).