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Women's Football News
England star Kelly Smith and her Arsenal team mate, Scotland captain Julie Fleeting, have each been awared the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Kelly is her country's best player and enjoyed a successful World Cup last autumn in which she scored four times to further enhance her reputation as one of the best players in the world. On her return, she again played a major role as Arsenal won the League and Cup 'double' and scored twice in the F.A.Women's Cup Final against Leeds Utd, taking her tally in that fixture to a remarkable five goals in three years.
"It is an honour and very exciting," Kelly told www.arsenal.com. "I am flabbergasted to be honest. I think I will be more nervous going to Buckingham Palace than I would be before any football game.
"I spoke to (Arsenal team-mate) Faye White who got one last year. She said it is just a great day out.
"In fact the letter telling me about the award went to the club. Faye recognised it and told me what it was, so she actually knew about this before I did."
Scotland captain Julie Fleeting has also been made an MBE in recognition of her services to the women's game. The prolific striker joined Arsenal in January 2004 and scored a hat-trick in that year's FA Women's Cup Final against Charlton Athletic.
Although much of her season was curtailed by a metatarsal injury, she still netted 15 times in all competitions but it was at international level where she can now boast two monumental achievements.
She won her 100th cap for her country to complete an astonishing 'double century', having also scored 100 times in a Scotland shirt. When returning to the international side at the end of the season, she bagged a hat-trick against Portugal.
"It's quite a shock but I'm absolutely thrilled," Julie told www.arsenal.com. "Hopefully it can do a lot for women's football, the fact we are getting recognition.
"When I first started playing you don't really think too much about it, but after a while you want to achieve as much as you can, and you need a lot of support.
"We are getting a lot more now than when I first started playing."
The honours mean that the Arsenal line up next season is likely to feature no less than four players who have the award, with Rachel Yankey and captain Faye White having appeared in previous honours lists.
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