WSL END OF SEASON REVIEW: Bethany England kept Tottenham afloat, Rachel Daly broke records at Aston Villa, and Sam Kerr’s still scoring screamers – plus, who makes KATHRYN BATTE’s team of the season?

  • Chelsea claimed their fourth consecutive WSL trophy on Saturday afternoon
  • But players across the WSL have impressed in a whirlwind top flight campaign
  • Rachel Daly’s staggering season at Aston Villa wins her player of the season 

A whirlwind Women’s Super League season came to an end on Saturday with Chelsea sealing a fourth league title in a row.

The Blues never looked like slipping up at bottom-of-the-table Reading – who saw their eight-season stay in the top-flight ended as a result of their defeat.

Several players have had a fantastic campaign but there can only be one winner of Mail Sport’s end of season review. Here, Women’s Football Correspondent KATHRYN BATTE picks out her star performers from the season.

Best player – Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)

Nobody could have predicted just how good Daly would be for Aston Villa. Daly, who played every game as a left back at the European Championship last summer, has scored 22 goals this season – matching Vivianne Miedema’s record for the most in a single season.

Rachel Daly (centre) has broken records with Aston Villa this season as the club chase top four

The 31-year-old helped spur the club on to achieve a fifth-place finish: their best ever

Daly’s goals has helped Villa to fifth in the table – their best ever finish in the top flight.

She is also the highest scoring English player in a single season in WSL history.

Honourable mention: Ona Batlle (Manchester United)

Best young player – Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United)

The centre back signed from Brighton last summer and has been one of the most consistent performers in the WSL this season.

Le Tissier has started every game in the league and her performances have helped United to 14 clean sheets.

Her block to prevent Bunny Shaw scoring in the Manchester derby last weekend summed up how vital Le Tissier has been to United, who have secured Champions League football for the first time in their history.

Honourable mention: Lauren James (Chelsea)

Maya Le Tissier has played a pivotal role in spurring Manchester United’s title charge

Lauren James has turned into an undroppable force for both Chelsea and the Lionesses

Best signing – Bethany England (Tottenham)

The £250,000 Tottenham spent on England in January is possibly the best business the club has done for some time.

England has almost single-handedly kept Spurs safe from relegation with 12 goals in 12 games.

The forward has more than proved her worth. No player has made a greater contribution in such a short space of time.

Honourable mention: Kenza Dali (Aston Villa)

Tottenham’s decision to sign Beth England last summer has had lasting consequences

Emma Hayes had another magnificent season at Chelsea, despite taking time out on medical leave midway through the campaign

Best manager – Emma Hayes (Chelsea)

Chelsea won a fourth straight WSL title despite facing several challenges this season.

The Blues have not always performed at their best this season but have found ways to win and Hayes’ experience has proved crucial. They’ve coped well without Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder for large parts of the season and also lost key defender Millie Bright back in March.

Hayes has also had her own challenges, coming back to work after an emergency hysterectomy in October.

Honourable mention: Carla Ward (Aston Villa)

Unsung hero – Willie Kirk (Leicester)

When Kirk took over from Lydia Bedford in October, Leicester sat bottom of the table. At the turn of the year, they did not have a single point.

For Kirk to have lifted the Foxes off the bottom of the table and get them to safety is nothing short of a miracle.

After finishing the job on Saturday with 1-0 win against Brighton, it has to go down as the greatest escape in WSL history.

Honourable mention: Vicky Jepson (Tottenham)

Goal of the season – Sam Kerr v Manchester United

This was the goal that made the difference in the title race.

A perfectly weighted pass from Lauren James completely flummoxed the United defence and Kerr ran in behind before chipping a helpless Mary Earps.

That goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory over United and the Blues eventually sealed the title just two points ahead of their rivals.

Honourable mention: Frida Maanum v Leicester 

Sam Kerr’s sharpness in front of goal kept Chelsea on course to claim another WSL title

Willie Kirk’s appointment at Leicester saw them pull off the mother of all great escapes

Kathryn Batte’s WSL Team of the Season – 2022/23 

GK: Mary Earps (Manchester United)

RB: Ona Batlle (Manchester United)

CB: Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United)

CB: Alex Greenwood (Manchester City)

LB: Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

CM: Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea)

CM: Frida Maanum (Arsenal)

CM: Kenza Dali (Aston Villa)

RF: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)

ST: Bunny Shaw (Manchester City)

LF: Guro Reiten (Chelsea)


GK: Manuela Zinsberger

CB: Danielle Turner (Aston Villa)

CM: Kenza Dali (Aston Villa)

RW: Leah Galton (Manchester United)

ST: Sam Kerr (Chelsea)

ST: Bethany England (Tottenham)

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