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Doncaster Rovers Belles and England midfielder Vicky Exley has been named as the Nationwide Player of the Month for April.
The 29-year-old has been the driving force in her side's successful battle against relegation, which culminated in her scoring the goal which kept the Belles up, in their 1-0 victory over Birmingham City.
"I'm really pleased," says Vicky. "This is a big honour and a bonus for the team staying in the league.
"We needed to beat Birmingham to stay up and the goal came at a great time in the game - I'd had about three shots before that and they were saved so I felt I had to get one in the end! But it is massive for us to stay up as we are a big club and a famous name, everyone in the game knows the Belles. It's been a hard season but we've come out of it okay and we will be a lot stronger next year."
Although it has been a difficult season for Vicky as her club battled relegation, it has also provided her with some of the best moments of her career. None moreso than last September when she captained England for the first time against Holland, and scored a goal in the 2-1 victory.
"I've been playing well for my club and that has given me a lot of confidence," says Vicky. "I'm scoring lots of goals at the moment as well, not just the one against Birmingham but I scored a hat-trick for England in a behind closed doors game and another against a boys' academy side."
Her form for England has led to her winning a place in the final squad of 20 for Euro 2005, but she does not believe that she was under extra pressure to be selected. "Everything is pressure when you play for England," she admits, "and you have just got to prove yourself when you get an opportunity. I felt I'd played well when I was given a chance but there were a number of people battling for the midfield places in the squad."
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