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Michelle Hinnigan has been named the new Everton captain ahead of the 2014 Women's Super League season.
Hinnigan is no stranger to the armband, having captained England Under-19s to European Championship success in July 2009, while last year, she led Team GB to the gold medal in the World Student Games in Kazan.
Having come through the ranks, manager Andy Spence believes Hinnigan to be the ideal choice to lead the Blues this year. "There are a number of qualities that Michelle possesses and will develop that I see in a captain and certainly a captain of our football club," he said.
"First of all, she is someone who has got the respect of her fellow team-mates. She is a player who has been with us for a number of years, who has come through our Academy system, and for me it is a fantastic opportunity for Michelle to take that added responsibility which comes from being captain.
"Naturally the players, from within our group and outside, will expect the captain of a team to deliver consistent and big performances.
"But I think Michelle is at that stage of her career now where she is ready to kick on into that phase of becoming one of the top midfielders in the country and in my eyes she has all the qualities to do that.
"Having that added responsibility as captain will just aid her development."
Hinnigan herself is proud to have been chosen, adding: "I was delighted to be asked to become captain and accepted straight away. It's a big responsibility but I can't wait for the challenge of leading Everton Ladies next season.
"I think Andy's choice was swayed by me having come through the ranks at Everton. He explained that he would love for me to symbolise that progression as captain of the club and that I was his first choice so that was a great thing to hear and I was delighted to accept.
"My aim now is to hopefully lead this team to some silverware in the upcoming Women's Super League season."
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