Women’s Footballer of the Year contender Ashley Lawrence

Profile of Ashley Lawrence, BBC Women's Footballer-of-the Year 2021
Each of the five candidates for the BBC Women’s Footballer Award 2021 is being profiled. Vote for your winner at the BBC Sport website, or further down this webpage until Monday 8th November at 09:00 GMT. The BBC World Service will broadcast the result on Monday 29 November and the BBC Sport website on Monday 29 November.

Age: 26 Position Defender

2020-2021: Achievements

Lyon wins 14 years with a French league title

At the Tokyo Games, Canada won Olympic gold

At the Olympics semi-final, she reached her 100th cap for her nation

Did you know?

Established "Yes She Canada", which aims at helping girls aged 6-16 years gain from her experiences

Canadian Women's Player Award Winner 2019

Bronze medal won at Rio Games 2016.

In her own words

What does it feel like to be nominated as the BBC Women's Footballer of the year 2021?

"Pretty incredible. It is amazing to think back on the past year. There have been many historic moments. Being nominated alongside some incredible players is an immense honour.

What was your favorite highlight of the last year?

"I would vote for winning the league. Lyon was neck-and-neck on points so we were fighting it out on every field with our team-mates. Making history with this club after 14 year and celebrating being champions in France for the first ever time was quite surreal.

This was the most difficult season at the club?

"Yes. We knew that losing points was important every weekend. Every weekend was a struggle. We took that pressure as an opportunity, even though it was expected."

What do you think Europe sees of PSG now that they have the league title?

Because Lyon is a powerhouse, winning the title is more important than being champions of France. It proved that we are not only contenders for the French title, but also want to win it in Europe.

What makes this PSG team so special?

"We have a core group that has stuck together. It's easy to work together and know each other's needs. It's become an automatic skill on the field, and it shows in our performances. This is why we are so dynamic and are a threat to other team's teams.

Was it like to win gold at Tokyo 2020?

It was incredible to win a first gold medal for Canada. It was important for us all, for Canada and the future generations. It was a great idea that we all believed in and we all fought for each other throughout the Olympic games. This just goes to show how special we are.

"There were many emotions, relief, and tears. Although it was a dream of your childhood to represent your country on the international stage, winning a gold medal is more than just us. It will hopefully inspire a nation, and young people to play football and represent Canada someday.

How were the scenes in the dressing room afterwards?

"Mayhem! It was great fun. I had a lot to do with some of the players that I grew up with, and some of them are now my best friends. There was much dancing, singing and celebration in that moment.

The pandemic has had a difficult 12 months globally. What does football now mean to you since the pandemic?

It definitely gives you a new perspective. It was a great experience to be back on the field. It was taken from us, and I am grateful for that opportunity. These moments are not something you can take for granted.

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