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Kelly Smith's first full season back in English football has been a highly successful one.
The star striker helped Arsenal towards the League and Cup 'double', scoring a penalty in the F.A.Women's Cup Final, and was the National Division's top goalscorer for the first time, with a goal tally of 18.
Kelly's contribution was recognised by her fellow players as she was voted as the Players' Player of the Year at last week's F.A.Women's Football Awards at The Brewery in London. It is the sixth year in a row that an Arsenal player has carried off the prestigious award.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to have won this award," Kelly told Women's Soccer Scene afterwards. "I wasn't expecting it by any means but I have accepted this award from all my peers who have voted for me, so I want to thank them for that. It's a very proud moment for me.
"I've been in America for seven years and to come back and win the Player's Player Award and be Top Goalscorer is a big honour."
After a catalogue of serious injuries in recent years, Kelly is also delighted with playing regular football once more. "I've got a good 20+ games under my belt this season," she says. "In the past five seasons, I've played about five or seven games per season because of injury, although my body's hurting a bit from a long season and I am resting now.
"I'm looking to get started again - hopefully we'll get some new signings in at Arsenal during the summer which will strengthen our squad and get going again.
"During mid-season I was really loving it and enjoying playing. I felt really fir and ready to go, and playing with such a great Arsenal team is an honour."
The summer will present a seemingly rare challenge for Kelly - pre-season training. "I've never done it in England!" she quips. "I'm looking forward to it, working for 4 or 5 days a week so hopefully the sun will be out and it will be easier to train."
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