Women’s football awards Judges
The Women’s Football Award shortlist and winners are chosen through a combination of public nominations and a voting process supported by our media partners as well as a judging panel comprising some of the biggest names in football, business and the media. Nominations are independently verified by the panel.
Chelsea defender Jess Carter was a member of Sarina Wiegman’s Euro 2022 winning squad, featuring in the group stage game against Northern Ireland. The versatile player, who can also take up positions in midfield, is an ambassador for an all-female football academy too.
Caroline Weir is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or forward for Spanish Primera División club Real Madrid CF and the Scotland women’s national team. The global football star, who has also played for Liverpool and Manchester City, is also ambassador for Common Goal and Girls United.
Nikita Parris is an England international forward who plays for Manchester United in the Women’s Super League. She has also turned out for Arsenal, Lyon, Manchester City and Everton, winning titles in England and France. She was part of the Lionesses squad who won the European Championship in 2022 and also represented Great Britain at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.
Host of Sky Sports’ flagship breakfast show ‘Good Morning Sports Fans’, Pete Graves is one of the most well-known faces in sports broadcasting having also led coverage of Sky’s world-renowned ‘Deadline Day‘ show. Graves also runs a successful ‘Transfer Talk’ podcast and has used his platform to host a ‘Lunch with the Lionesses’ to raise money for a leukaemia charity.
Former Chelsea and Juventus star Eni Aluko has incredible football pedigree, having played more than 100 times for England. The ex-striker, who has won numerous trophies and represented Team GB at the Olympics, was appointed sporting director at Aston Villa WFC after hanging up her boots before switching to Angel City FC in the United States. Aluko also works as a pundit and commentator across the men’s and women’s game.
Sky Sports News lead anchor Hayley McQueen is a long-standing supporter of the women’s game. She champions female representation in the media and is wholly supportive of women in football across the board. McQueen launched the ‘Sportswomen’ programme and was the first female presenter for a programme dedicated to women’s sport on Sky TV while is one third of the all-female led football podcast ‘The Offside Rule’ having used that platform to talk about underrepresentation in the game.
A trailblazer in the women’s game, Toni Duggan set the standard for playing abroad having started her career at Everton and then switching to Manchester City before plying her trade in Spain at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Having so far made more than 75 appearances for England, the versatile winger and forward is now back on home soil with the Toffees and is an ambassador for Football For Change and Kick It Out.
Kim Leadbeater MBE MP
Kim Leadbeater has been Labour MP for Batley and Spen since July 2021 and is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Sport. Prior to her election, Kim was a lecturer in Higher Education and later set up her own business as a personal trainer, wellbeing coach and group exercise instructor. In 2021 she was awarded an MBE for her services to social cohesion and combating loneliness.
Conor Coady is an England international who plays for Everton in the Premier League. Coady was part of the England squad for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He was named Football Ally of the Year at the 2021 British LGBT Awards and also founded Football for Change, the social mobility charity, alongside Jamie Carragher and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Katie Byrne is the Communications Director for DMG Media covering MailOnline, Metro.co.uk, New Scientist, Eliza and i-news. The public relations powerhouse has led a number of initiatives around the diversity and inclusion agenda including helping marginalised voices get heard in the mainstream media and has played an important part in helping women’s fotoball reach new audiences.
A legend of the game, Anita Asante is the manager of Bristol City Women having formerly played for Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa while also plying her trade in the USA and Sweden. Asante was an integral part of the Gunners side that won a historic quadruple in 2006/0 and also played more than 70 times for England during her illustrious career.
Katie Whyatt is an award-winning women’s football writer. Whyatt made history by becoming the first ever full-time women’s correspondent for The Telegraph before joining The Athletic in 2020. She ghost-wrote the autobiography of Arsenal and England Women star Beth Mead, entitled Lioness, and is an avid Bradford City supporter.
Former Manchester City and England star Micah Richards is a huge supporter of the women’s game. The Premier League winner, who also played for GB in the 2012 Olympics, now works as a pundit across Sky Sports, CBS plus BBC and the defender has used his platform to highlight the importance of women’s football and inspiration from those in the game.
A pioneer of the women’s game, Sue Smith plied her trade as a talented left-sided winger and forward. She played for Tranmere as a teenager before moving to Leeds United, then joining Lincoln and Doncaster Rovers Belles. The former England international is an expert on the women’s game and now works as a pundit and analyst.
Seema Jaswal is a globally-recognised sports presenter who has achieved a broadcasting ‘quadruple’ in football – leading coverage on Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and international matches – for BT Sport and ITV. Seema fronted coverage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and hosted the Women’s Champions League final for DAZN.
Liesel is the Women’s Football Lead at Visa in Europe where she played an integral role in Visa becoming the first major brand to partner with UEFA Women’s Football. She currently manages the UEFA property portfolio for Visa and is responsible for developing the strategy, management and activation of the Team Visa Women’s Football programme. In 2020 Liesel co-created The Second Half, a career development programme for professional female footballers, which aims to prepare players for the transition into their second career once they hang up their football boots.