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Women's Football News
Casey Stoney reached what she described as one of the pinnacles of her career as she was the recipient of the International Player of the Year award at the FA Women's Football Awards in London.
The Chelsea captain underlined her reputation as one of the most respected players in the women's game by holding down a regular place in the team in an unaccustomed left back position and highlights of the last 12 months included being one of only four England players to play every minute of the World Cup campaign and passing the 50-cap mark during the course of the season.
Casey received the award after finishing ahead of fellow nominees Alex Scott and Anita Asante and she told Women's Soccer Scene afterwards: "It's the biggest achievement of my life, other than representing my country in the World Cup, and to come from my fellow players it couldn't be more respectful, so it's massive for me."
Since replacing Rachel Unitt as a substitute in the vital World Cup qualifier against France, Casey has taken over as first choice in that position. "I haven't really played at left back much before," she smiled, "but I think I've adapted well and done a reasonable job there, so getting this award is the biggest thing I could achieve."
However being named as the winner came as a total surprise to Casey. "To be honest, I was shocked," she admitted. "I didn't have a clue it was going to be me - Siobhan Chamberlain was sat next to me, saying "It's you" and I was saying "No it's not" - and even when I went up on stage, I still had the shakes because I didn't realise it was me. Having played every minute of the World Cup, I think that's what has done it and hopefully I can continue that level of performance in the future."
Since coming home from China, England's results have been very impressive with victories in every game apart from the draw with the Czech Republic. "We were disappointed with the Czech game as we shouldn't be dropping points there, possibly our mentality wasn't right going into that game and sometimes you play against teams who put eleven players behind the ball and it is hard to break them down," said Casey. "We've got to work out how we are going to do that and continue our form into the game in the future and hopefully we'll qualify for 2009."
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