Humble Sunderland Ladies striker Beth Mead has spoken of her “honour” at winning the inaugural North East Football Writers’ Ladies Player of the Year award.
Mead enjoyed a blistering campaign in front of goal as Sunderland Ladies took the FAWSL 1 by storm, netting an incredible 12 league strikes – five more than Arsenal’s Natalia Pablos Sanchon who finished runner-up.
I was very proud because it not only recognised my performances throughout the season but also the overall performance of the team.
Her domestic campaign also resulted in a first call-up to England senior team.
Despite not managing to make her full debut, Mead’s attitude while away on international duty received glowing praise from players and coaches alike.
And Mead has revealed how honoured she was to pick up the award at the annual North East Football Writers’ bash at Ramside Hall, in Durham.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce and his full backroom staff were among the guests, while Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren also attended.
A delighted Mead said: “I was very humbled to win and it was nice to get my name on the trophy because it’s the first time it’s been awarded.
“I was very proud because it not only recognised my performances throughout the season but also the overall performance of the team.
“There is a lot of talent in the North East throughout a variety of leagues, so to be named as the North East Football Writers’ Ladies Player of the Year was a massive privilege.”
Mead says the award is a sign of how far the women’s game has developed, especially here in the North East, with Sunderland Ladies leading the way.
Mead added: “It shows how far the women’s game has come that we’re being celebrated with the players who also picked up awards, and it’s nice that people have the interest they do because it shows how far the sport has come since I started playing.”
Mead also revealed she is relishing a return to pre-season training in 2016, adding: “It’s nice to recharge my batteries and really reflect on what has been a great year, but like I said it’s important to have a rest and make sure that I’m raring to go when we jump back into pre-season.
“We also have the FAWSL awards coming up on Friday as well which should be a great event.”
Newcastle defender Daryl Janmaat won the player of the year, with United colleague Ayoze Perez named young player of the year.