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Duggan Delight At Prize

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

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TonI Duggan said she was surprised but flattered to win Women's Player of the Year at the Northwest Football Awards.

The Blues striker has been in scintillating form this season with 13 goals for her club and a number of virtuoso performances that have cemented her place in the senior England team.

But she was up against stiff competition in Liverpool skipper Gemma Bonner, who lifted the Women's Super League trophy earlier this year, and the impressive Nikita Parris, who had starred with both Everton and England under-19s.

Speaking after picking up her award, a delighted Toni told "I was not expecting to win to be honest. Nikita has had a really good season and helped the England Under-19s reach the final of the European Championships. Then Gemma Bonner has just won the WSL with Liverpool.

"So I didn't expect it but it's really flattering to win individual awards like this. I have done well this season and for England so I am pleased to win the award. Plenty of girls from the North West could have been nominated but to have two Everton girls in the final three is obviously great for the club."

She also praised her team-mate Parris, who has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in Andy Spence's side, finishing with nine goals to her name.

"Nikita has had a great season as I say and I am sure she will be nominated again in the future," added Duggan.

"She has scored some incredible goals and had success at international level as well.

"You have to appreciate what the others have done and all three of us would have been happy for whoever won it. Gemma text me afterwards congratulating me, and Keets as well so it was a great moment for me, and it helped Everton do really well on the night."

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