Gold. Silver. BRONZE. (by Charlotte Stacey)
With an almost unbeaten record at Olympic Lyonnais, and a World Cup semi-final place under her belt, it’s no wonder that Lucy Bronze has just been voted England Women’s Player of the Year.
Lyon and England defender Lucy Bronze has gone from strength to strength over the past year. Her sheer talent and commitment to her cause has caught the attention of many, and has rightfully earned her the number two spot in The Guardian’s “100 best female footballers in the world”.
Bronze is a spectacle to behold on a football pitch. Arguably the best right back in the world, Bronze possesses a fortitude and a downright grit that is perhaps not seen enough in the women’s game. Her physical presence alone is enough to worry even the most assured striker, and her pace ostensibly allows her to be in what seems to be two places at once.
Bronze’s hankering to attack from the back has a tendency to keep not only her opposition, but her teammates on their toes, leading to the most remarkable pieces of quick gameplay. Her fast paced, and somewhat ‘risky’, play drives her forward, causing her to completely dominate the right side and threaten in dangerous positions. Bronze quite honestly is a machine; an absolute force to be reckoned with, and a player to be challenged at peril.
Yet, where her attack prevails, her defence does not suffer. Bronze has no problem with quite literally throwing herself into position to block a loose ball, or to tackle a counterattack. Her personal obligation to defending her goal, and ultimately her team, is clearly of the utmost importance, and is what sets her apart from others.
Bronze is not afraid to push herself towards constant improvement, even in the most extreme of circumstances. Her ‘wonder goal’ in the World Cup showcased her ability to step up quickly when under pressure. The enormity of the moment did not seem to faze Bronze, and it was business as usual for the remaining minutes, serving as a reminder of her utter professionalism on a football pitch.
But whilst she may be a ballsy character on the pitch, Bronze remains humble when the whistle blows. Unsurprisingly, Bronze has been nominated for, and won several awards this year, yet her modesty in achieving such feats demonstrates the heart of a true team player. Bronze often shies away from her individual wins, but there is importance in recognising your own successes, and Bronze should relish in celebrating her achievements.
Whilst she did not seal the gold at the World Cup, there is plenty for Bronze to look forward to. With the SheBelieves Cup just around the corner, and the Olympics and Euro’s fast approaching, Lionesses fans need not worry.
Quite frankly, gold is good, but Bronze is better.
by Charlotte Stacey
@CharlotteS1206 on Twitter