Crusaders Strikers teenage forward Emily Wilson has shot her way to the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Danske Bank Women’s Premiership Player of the Month award for November.
The 19-year-old is on a double high at present as not only has she been banging in the goals for her club, her goal-scoring form was then rewarded with an international call-up and she played a part in Northern Ireland’s history-making achievement when they qualified for the Women’s Euro 2022 play-offs.
Emily started November by scoring a 90th minute equaliser to get the Crues a point against Sion Swifts and she then notched four to help the Shore Road girls to a magnificent seven in their north-Belfast derby demolition of Cliftonville Ladies.
“I am so happy to be awarded this,” said Emily.
“It has been a great month for both our club and me personally.
“We’ve been doing really well this season, I thought we played well this past month and I’m glad to get on the scoresheet a few times in the month as well.
“It was a great game, I was so happy to get the four goals and it makes it even more special in a north-Belfast derby.”
Emily’s recent form is made all the more impressive by the fact that she has just returned to the football pitch after taking some time out of the game.
“I took a break for a year or so just to focus on myself and I was doing my A Levels.,” she explained.
“I came back this season, I am really enjoying it and I’m happy to be back playing football again.
“We’ve been doing well at Crusaders this season as well and there’s been a lot of improvement made and it’s looking promising for next year.”
If Emily’s international recall was unexpected, being thrust straight into the starting line up for the key qualifiers against Belarus and the Faroe Islands came completely out of the blue.
Manager Kenny Shiels was suitably impressed by her club form that with Everton Ladies’ striker Simone Magill ruled out of the games he had no hesitation in turning to Emily.
“To get the call into the Northern Ireland squad was incredible,” she said.
“I made my senior debut in a tournament in Turkey a couple of years ago. The match against Belarus was my competitive senior debut and to be part of the team that qualified for the Euro play-off was fantastic.”