Sunderland striker's 'honour' after being crowned Young Player of the Year
Beth Mead has spoken of her 'honour' at being crowned the Professional Footballers' Association Women's Young Player of the Year.
The Sunderland AFC Ladies striker was recognised by her fellow professionals, who vote for the award, at the PFA awards ceremony on Sunday evening.
Mead, 20, marked her debut season in FA Women’s Super League 1 by scoring 12 goals in 14 league games, making her the division’s top scorer.
Those goals guided Sunderland to a fourth-place finish and also earned Mead a place in the PFA Women’s Super League team of the year.
Mead said: "I’m excited. I can’t believe I’ve won.
"I had a good season and so did the team, but I would never have expected to win an award like this.
"It’s a huge honour to be recognised by your peers and this award means a lot to me.
"It caps a really great year but I couldn’t have achieved any of this without my teammates and everybody at the club who have supported me and believed in me."
Mead's superb form for Sunderland AFC Ladies in the top flight also led to an international call-up with England.
And the 20-year-old is looking to build on her achievements last season.
Mead added: "This season my aim is to do even better. I want to score more goals and create more chances, and just improve my overall game.
"Nobody’s perfect and as a player you want to keep developing your game."
Mead was also named in the team of the year, but missed out on the player of the year award to Manchester City’s Izzy Christiansen.
PFA Women’s Super League 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).
Mead and the rest of her teammates are in home action this week when they host Manchester City in WSL1 action on Friday night (7.45pm kick-off) at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground (Hetton Centre).
Tickets are available online or from turnstiles on the day of the game.