Northern Ireland attacking midfielder Rachel Furness has been crowned Electric Ireland Women’s International Personality of the Year.
Furness played a key role in helping Northern Ireland Women reach a major tournament for the first time in their history – next year’s Women’s Euros in England.
And now she has made a bit of history herself by winning the newly inaugurated Women’s International Personality award.
The accolade is part of the annual Northern Ireland Football Awards, which are organised by the Northern Ireland Football League and the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association.
“I’m delighted to win this award. It’s a great honour for me, but it would not have been possible without my team-mates," said Furness, who scored five times as Kenny Shiels’ team reached UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 via qualifiers and a play-off.
“It’s hard to put into words just how amazing this last year has been. We’ve done something as a nation that everyone thought was impossible. It’s been incredible to play a small part in that success,” she told Belfast Live.
Furness’ most memorable moment came in April’s play-off victory (first leg) over Ukraine in Kovalivka when she opened the scoring, but later in the game she had to limp off with a broken fibula.
“I’m out of the medical boot and back walking, which is a sign that the bone is healing," explained the midfielder, who plays her club football with Liverpool Women in WSL 2.
"Rehab has been tough, but I’m fully focused on getting myself fit. I hope to be back next month, which means I’ll be available for the World Cup qualifiers in September.”