Leah kicks back with England stars

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FOOTBALL starlet Leah Williamson rubbed shoulders with some of England’s biggest names last week when she was nominated for the FA’s Women’s Youth Player of the Year award.

The 15-year-old Arsenal midfielder, from Newport Pagnell, was named as runner-up behind a girl from Everton, but described her memorable night out at St.George’s Park as “the most amazing experience ever” as she posed for pictures with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott and Gary Cahill.

To mark the FA’s 150-year anniversary, the first ever FA England Awards saw 11 winners, including Liverpool star Gerrard named the Senior Men’s Player of the Year and Steph Houghton taking the Senior Women’s award.

Being nominated for the award by her Club England coaches marked a significant milestone in Leah’s highly impressive young football career that has already seen her win several caps for her country, and become a regular in Arsenal’s U17 ladies side.

The Ousedale School student, who plays in centre midfield, began playing football with Scot Youth at the age of six before joining the Rushden & Diamonds academy. A move to Arsenal followed when she was eight, and she hasn’t looked backed since.

Playing for Arsenal and England, Leah – a season-ticket holder at the Emirates Stadium – has travelled as far as the USA and all over Europe to play football for her club and country.

Her aim now is to hold down a place in the national team ahead of this year’s U17 European Championships in England, and one day play at a senior level for her club.