What a difference a season can make. Following a 2016-17 season that saw more games missed than played, through a long term injury, Captain Freya Holdaway has been at the heart of almost everything that The Ladies have achieved on and off the pitch, this season.
Her levels of performance, leadership and inspiration was recognised from across the Crystal Palace family at The Box Park Take Over event on Wednesday evening. Together with other top stars, such as Wilf Zaha, Freya was presented with the bespoke trophy, capping a season that has seen her team seal a top three position, apply for a tier two licence and, on a personal level, make her international debut for Northern Ireland.
"I am so honoured to receive the award" Freya commented after coming off stage, "We have so many who could have won, throughout our amazing squad, any of whom would have been justified recipients, from Megen at the back, to Gemma up top. I am thrilled and so grateful for this recognition."
Having presented the award, manager Dean Davenport spoke of his captain,
"Freya has shown her true qualities this season. Her ability as a player and leader. She is a cool yet inspirational presence amongst the team, with qualities on the pitch that any manager would wish for; incredible reading of the game, natural talent and determination. To be honest, this season, we had so many candidates, after such a positive season - so I am sure that this makes the award even more special for Freya."
The respect for the Captain was clear across social media, including her team mates, with Ria Collins posting "Congrats...such an admirable player on and off the pitch. I have so much respect for you..."
The evening at Box Park was completed with players from the men's and women's squads meeting fans and signing autographs - a true sign of the strengths of the Crystal Palace FC Family
Congratulations Freya, from everyone at Crystal Palace Ladies FC
Updated 12:35 - 13 Jul 2018 by Ronan Howard