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Women’s Player Ratings – 2018/19 Season: Sigsworth the Player of the Season; Chamberlain, Zelem, Green and James all strong contenders

The Manchester United Women’s team has a great first season playing in the second tier of women’s professional football. At the time the squad was announced in July 2018, many would not have thought the season would have been as good as it was. The majority of the players had not played in the same team before and the way they literally took apart their opposition in the majority of matches was impressive.

Casey Stoney has done a magnificent job as the manager at the club and will be looking to continue the feat in the FA Women’s Super League next season where they will be taking on the giants of English women’s football – a challenge in itself. This season though, winning the FA Women’s Championship by winning 18, drawing one and losing one of the 20 matches played, scoring 98 goals and conceding just seven is great. Stoney’s side also reached the semi-finals of the FA Women’s League Cup and the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup.

Here are the player ratings for the entire 2018/19 season for each player to have represented United Women at least once in any of the competitions the club has played in; the FA Championship, the Continental Tyres League Cup and the Women’s FA Cup. All ratings are out of ten stars; five being the level all players start out at during each game. If the player rates over five stars, they are doing well, less than five, they are not doing so well.

Siobhan Chamberlain: The 35-year-old veteran goalkeeper made 27 appearances and managed to keep a total of 19 clean sheets whilst representing her club. She did not concede a single goal in the league until the sixth match of the season. Formerly of Liverpool, Chamberlain has been welcomed by the fan base and is a well-loved shot-stopper at this club. She will certainly bring the best out of both Emily Ramsey and Fran Bentley. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emily Ramsey: The 18-year-old from Salford made just three appearances for the club this season, one of those from the bench. She did, however, keep three clean sheets (one for each appearance) which will be seen as a great start for the young goalkeeper, he played last season at Liverpool having started out in United’s academy, where she will now be able to continue her career. She has worked with Chamberlain for a year previous to joining United, so will have learned a lot already. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fran Bentley: The 17-year-old goalkeeper has already spent time at United, having five years in the clubs academy (from 2010 to 2015), also spending three years at Manchester City. She only made one appearance for United this season, coming off the bench against Millwall, of which United were 6-0 up at the time, winning 8-0, keeping a clean sheet in what was he debut. Bentley was loaned to Sheffield United in February where she played six times. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Martha Harris: The 24-year-old fullback, formerly of Liverpool, made 22 appearances for United this season, scoring a single goal. Harris made her debut in the 12-0 destruction of Aston Villa but had to wait until April for her first goal at her new club which came against Millwall, which was a 5-0 away victory. Harris will be looking forward to the new season and challenge. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Alex Greenwood: The former Everton and Liverpool left-back, now 25, played 27 times for United this season, the second most-capped outfield player in the squad. Greenwood captained United this season and has added the determination and leadership to bring this group of women together to make waves in the game with the added hunger to achieve. Greenwood scored five goals for the club this season, four of them from the spot. A great captain for United. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Amy Turner: The 27-year-old defender was one of nine players to sign for the club from Liverpool last summer. Turner made 26 appearances for the club, all starts, scoring twice. Her first goal came in April in the 5-0 victory over Millwall. She has proven herself at this level and will be well up for the challenge of playing in the Women’s Super League once again next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Naomi Hartley: The 18-year-old defender made just three appearances for United this season, two of those were from the bench. She made her debut on September, a 75th-minute substitute against the London Bees – a 5-0 victory to United. She made her full debut against Lewes in December. However, in March, she was loaned to Sheffield United and ended up being released by the club at the end of the season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lucy Roberts: Another former Liverpool player, the 18-year-old defender never made a single appearance for United this season and was released by the club after the final match of the season, in which United lifted the FA Women’s Championship. She did, however, play many matches at academy level, helping the side to reach the final of the Academy Cup. She was loaned out to Huddersfield Town, making six appearances and scoring two goals for them. It is a shame it did not work out for her at United. As she did not feature at this level, she will not be rated.

Kirsty Smith: The 25-year-old Scottish defender signed for United from Hibernian last summer, along with teammate Lizzie Arnot. Smith played 23 times for United, four appearances from the bench and did not score a single goal for the club. Smith has become a valued defender in this squad and her experience will help the club this coming season when they raise the bar to challenge the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Birmingham City and Reading. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Millie Turner: The 22-year-old former Everton and Bristol City defender played 29 times for United this season, the most-capped player in the squad, scoring two goals, both in the FA Women’s Championship. Turner was one of seven senior players who returned to the team she started out at, being able to play competitive matches for United. Turner scored her first goal for the club against the London Bees back in September. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Aimee Palmer: The 18-year-old midfielder played 15 times for United this season, eight times from the bench, scoring one goal for her club. Palmer signed from Bristol City last summer and will be happy with her debut season at United. The midfielder scored her first and only goal in the 5-0 thrashing of Lewes on the final day of the season which saw her and her teammates lift their FA Women’s Championship trophy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mollie Green: The 21-year-old midfielder, formerly of Liverpool and Everton, represented United 27 times during the course of the season, scoring a total of 16 goals for her club – 13 of which came in the league. Green scored her debut goal in the first league match of the season, a 12-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. She scored her first career hat-trick in the 8-0 belittling of Millwall in November and after scoring five goals in three matches that month, was named the FA Women’s Championship Player of the Month. This coming season will be a big challenge for Casey Stoney and her squad but I think Green and her teammated are ready for it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Katie Zelem: Now 23, Zelem will be happy to be back at United having spent nine years in the clubs Centre of Excellence from 2004 until 2013. She has played for Liverpool and Juventus before returning to the club she spent many years of her youth at. Zelem made a total of 26 appearances this season, starting all matches, scoring 11 goals. Her first goal came from the spot against Aston Villa in that 12-0 thrashing of the Birmingham club. She was named the FA Women’s Championship Player of the Month for March, also winning the clubs Player of the Year award this season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Charlie Devlin: The 21-year-old midfielder signed for United from the Millwall Lionesses in the summer and made a total of 21 appearances for United, 13 of those from the bench. Devlin scored his first of six goals this season in the 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the league. Sadly though, Devlin was released by the club after lifting the FA Women’s Championship after the final game of the season. It is a shame it has not worked out for her at United. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lauren James: The 17-year-old made a total of 27 appearances for the club this season, nine of which came off the bench. James scored a total of 17 goals, 14 of those in the league alone. She arrived at United from Arsenal, taking a step down in order to play for this club after so far, it seems to have worked. James scored her the opening two goals in the 12-0 thrashing of Aston Villa, the first league match of the season. James was named the FA Women’s Championship Player of the Month for September after scoring three goals; a month United were unbeaten in. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ella Toone: The 19-year-old forward returned to United after spending time in the academy from 2007 until 2013. She has also played for Blackburn Rovers at academy level, playing senior football for Manchester City, the team she left to re-sign for United last summer. Toone made a total of 29 appearances for United, ten of those from the bench, scoring 15 goals, 14 of those in the league. Toone scored he first goal in the 12-0 victory over Aston Villa and was named the FA Women’s Championship Player of the Month for February after scoring five goals in United’s two matches that month. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jess Sigsworth: My Player of the Season. The 24-year-old forward, a reigning FA Women’s Championship champion, before the league was renamed, with Doncaster Belles, before signing for United. Sigsworth scored 18 goals for United this season, the clubs top scorer. 17 of her goals came in the league, where she won the golden boot. Sigsworth scored five goals for United in their opening league match, the 12-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. She is on to bigger and better things now and will be challenged in the FA Women’s Super League next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Leah Galton: The 24-year-old forward had a varied career before signing for United, playing College football in the United States of America for Hofstra Pride, playing professional football for Sky Blue FC in New Jersey. Galton also played for Bayern Munich in 2018 after leaving the USA in 2017. Galton played 21 times for United, seven of those from the bench, scoring four goals, three of those in the league. She scored her first goal Everton in a 3-0 victory in the League Cup and her first league goal against Tottenham Hotspur in Match, a 5-1 victory for United. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lizzie Arnot: The 23-year-old Scottish forward signed for United form Hibernian, with teammate Kirsty Smith last summer. She has played 24 times for United, eight of those from the bench, scoring seven goals for the club, six of those in the league. Arnot scored her first goal for United in the 1-0 League Cup victory over Liverpool, which was the first competitive match for the club. Her first league goal came against Sheffield United back in September. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kirsty Hanson: The 21-year-old forward was one of seven players to return to the club after being part of the academy in the past. She left for Liverpool, playing senior football with Sheffield FC Ladies and the Doncaster Belles. Hanson made a total of 26 appearances for United this season, nine of those from the bench, scoring five goals, all in the FA Women’s Championship. She made her debut in the League Cup against Liverpool, scoring in her league debut against Aston Villa, the 12-0 victory and the clubs biggest win of the season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ebony Salmon: The 18-year-old forward signed for United from Aston Villa last summer and did not play a single minute of football for Casey Stoney’s side during the course of the season. In January, she was loaned to Sheffield United for the remainder of the season, where she made 11 appearances, scoring eight goals. Sadly, she was released by United at the end of the season. She will not be rated as it would be unfair as she never played for the club.

The 2018/19 season for Manchester United Women will be talked about as the best inaugural season in women’s football, especially by the United supporters who saw a great brand of football with the team taking no prisoners. In total, 113 goals were scored across the entire season; 98 in the FA Women’s Championship, conceding seven; seven in the Women’s FA Cup, three conceded; and eight in the FA Women’s League Cup, conceding four.

The upcoming season will be a big challenge for Casey Stoney and her squad of players. It was a shame to see four players released at the end of the season but the manager will be making preparation for the rise to the top flight of women’s football where the club will be seeking to take on what may seem to be a surprise title challenge in the next few seasons. After the way this season elapsed, they should not be written off based on the experience at the club, the winning mentality and the work ethic of this squad. They really showed the men’s team up this season. Great stuff.

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