22. Jess Fishlock
It’s a testament to both Fishlock’s quality and consistency that she ranks in the exact same position in 2017 as she did in 2016.
Fishlock took on a new role at the beginning of the year, stepping in as player-manager for Melbourne City, guiding her side to the W-League title and scoring six league goals along the way.
The Wales captain returned to Seattle Reign in fine form, scoring seven goals and setting several others up, but Laura Harvey’s side ultimately fell short of the play-offs.
Fishlock has been in fine form internationally too, scoring one of the best goals you’ll see all year to break the deadlock in Wales’ opening World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan.
Laura Harvey, former Seattle Reign manager says:
“Jess took on a new role for our team this year, she came off the back of a tough off-season in Australia and I think it took her a while to her bearings on who she needed to be for the team. The one thing about Jess is she always comes back stronger and she always comes back fighting.
“When she’s been on the field she’s proved her quality, she’s given absolutely everything and can change the game in the blink of an eye, which is what makes her stand out. People were doubting if she could still do it and she proved that she could, and more.”
Jayne Ludlow, Wales national team head coach says:
“Jess is an exceptional talent who has represented her country on the highest stage of club football for many years and hopefully many more years to come. The fact that she is our nation’s only player to reach 100 international caps shows her commitment to the national team over the years. She is a fierce competitor who leads by example on and off the pitch for the national team. She is a huge part of our nations progress in developing a football culture for our female teams and is an inspirational character for our younger players.”
Lydia Williams, Seattle Reign and Melbourne City team mate says:
“I’ve been lucky enough to call Jess a teammate and friend. A player that I’ve never seen give anything but her all. She’s so passionate but so caring and wants to see every team that she’s a part of succeed. She’s also an awesome human being too.”