Aston Villa clean sweep at FWA Midlands awards

Unai Emery and Carla Ward voted male and female Managers of the Year, while Ollie Watkins and Rachel Daly take the Player of the Year awards at annual FWA Midlands awards.

Aston Villa have completed a clean sweep at the Football Writers’ Association’s Midlands awards.
Unai Emery claimed Manager of the Year with Ollie Watkins winning the male Footballer of the Year title.
It is the second successive season the pair have won the trophies having picked them up last season.
Under Emery Villa are close to sealing a top four place and Champions League football for next season. He took over in November 2022 when they were three points above the relegation zone and guided them to seventh.
They have built on last season’s success and have reached the Europa Conference League semi-final, although must overturn a two-goal deficit at Olympiakos on Thursday after losing the first leg 4-2 last week.
Watkins has 19 Premier League goals this season to move within one goal of Dwight Yorke’s Premier League tally of 60 for Aston Villa with Gabby Agbonlahor’s club record 74 in his sights.
Sponsored by award-winning law firm JMW the awards were held at the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham with Carla Ward and Rachel Daly winning in the women’s Manager of the Year and Footballer of the Year.
Ward, who will step down from Aston Villa at the end of the season, has been in charge of Aston Villa since 2021 and has established the club as a top side in the WSL.
Last season she guided them to fifth in the WSL – a club record finish – and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup.
This season Villa have the semi-final of the League Cup and sit seventh in with a game left.
Daly has 15 goals in 25 appearances this term and last month she retired from international duty after winning 84 caps and scoring 16 goals for England.
She said: “It’s an honour to once again win this award. On a personal note it’s been a hugely enjoyable first two seasons for me at Aston Villa and I’m looking forward to hopefully enjoying more success in the years to come.
“Winning awards like these wouldn’t be possible without the help of my coaches and teammates so I am extremely grateful to them.”

Carla Ward of Aston Villa was voted Female Manager of the Year in the FWA Midlands awards

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