Having run the rule over the contenders for the NOW: Pensions Men’s Premier League team of the season this past week, it is now time to have a look at those battling to be included in the Investec Women’s Premier League team of the season. As with the men’s team, I have selected players I have seen play and been impressed by as well as those recommended by some of the coaches I have spoken to. So without further ado, here are the contenders vying for the coveted No1 shirt, the goalkeepers.
Amy Tennant, Bowdon Hightown.
They often say goalkeepers get better with age. Tennant is still under 21, very young in goalkeeper terms and yet, she is already an accomplished performer at the top level in this country. The Bowdon Hightown stopper mixes superb agility with the fearlessness that comes with youth. It has been another season of excellent performances from Tennant who will surely be Hightown’s No1 for years to come.
Maggs Rees, Leicester.
The loss of Maddie Hinch in the summer was unquestionably a blow to the Pukkas, but they recruited very astutely, bringing in the experienced Welsh international. With Leicester going through something of a transition, having a solid and reliable keeper makes a big difference. Rees rarely makes a mistake and has marshalled her defence expertly, helping Leicester to stay in the playoff hunt right up until the final weeks of the season and ensuring their backline remained hard to breach. Leicester’s goals conceded (20) is the fourth fewest in the league and Rees has more than played her part in that.
Sarah Ellis, Reading.
Reading grab a lot of headlines for their galaxy of attacking stars and there is nothing wrong with that. However it does often mean that some of their other key performers like Ellis, don’t get the recognition they deserve. Having established herself as Reading’s No1, she has gone from strength to strength. A model of consistency she is a goalkeeper capable of raising herself for the big occasions but also the type who’ll pull off a crucial save in a game where she hasn’t seen the ball for 65 minutes. A truly excellent season from a truly excellent goalkeeper.
Helen Fagg, Canterbury.
A summer signing from Chelmsford, Fagg has made an impressive start to life as a Premier League goalkeeper. Canterbury had struggled to replace Abi Walker after her departure for Surbiton but it looks like they may have found the answer in the 24-year-old. With just 14 goals conceded and ten clean sheets, defensive strength has been the foundation of Canterbury’s fine season. Fagg has never been found wanting when called upon, gaining in confidence with every game and pulling off some excellent saves to ensure Canterbury took top spot and qualified for Europe next season. There is plenty more to come from the former Chelmsford keeper.
Abi Walker, Surbiton.
Walker is a calm, reassuring presence who can be relied on to pull off crucial saves at crucial times. Her experience at club and international level has been priceless as Surbiton aim to establish themselves as a powerhouse in the English game. The former Great Britain goalkeeper has the knack of making difficult saves look routine and her ability has contributed to her team conceding just 17 times this season.
So there are the No1s vying for the place in goal for the team of the season. Use the poll below to cast your vote and ensure that your favourite gets their spot. The runners and riders for the places in the back four will be named tomorrow.