Women’s Players’ POTY Izzy Christiansen presented with painting

PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor OBE presents PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year and MCWFC star Izzy Christiansen with a commemorative painting by Darren Baker.

The charcoal portrait, which shows Izzy with her PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year trophy, was painted by Darren Baker, the official artist to the PFA.

Darren Baker has become one of the UK’s most collectable artists since his remarkable portrait of the Queen was unveiled by Princess Anne at Westminster Abbey in 2011. He has painted Prime Ministers, Royalty and the sporting elite, and his celebrated works hang in collections from 10 Downing Street and the House of Lords to St James’s Palace.

Izzy has only recently returned to action following injury and marked her first game back to full fitness with a stunning goal in the 5-1 rout at Notts County.

The midfielder is hoping to have put any injury worries behind her making her 50th City appearance in Wednesday's victory at Reading. Speaking to FAWSL.com, she said:

"Keets (Nikita Parris) did fantastically well down the right-hand side, I've timed my run and she's put a perfect ball in. All I had to do was head it into pretty much an empty net.

"The most important thing was that we got the win. Adams Park is a very tough place to go to with a great atmosphere and we're very pleased to have come away with the three points, especially as we came under a bit of pressure towards the end.

"The culture we have, we're slightly disappointed with our performance but it's the sign of a good team when you don't play as well as you can but still win.

"There are lessons to be learned but at this stage of the season, the most important thing is to get three points and grind it out. There is a lot for us to work on but we're delighted at the same time."

Izzy is looking forward to Sunday's Continental Tyres Cup quarter-final as Manchester City Women take on visitors Doncaster.

"Of course, it's a competition we're wanting to advance in," she added. "It's important the players rest and recover right, so we're in the best possible shape to go and win.

"The Conti Cup is huge for us. It's another trophy for us to win. You look back on your career and it's all about how many trophies you've won.

"It's something we want to get our hands on again but it's important we take each game as it comes and not get too carried away with either competition."

When asked if Izzy could score three goals in four games, she said: "I'd be delighted with a goal but I'm more bothered about being in the semi-final. It doesn't matter who scores it!

"As a team, we're feeling good. We've got a big squad with loads of fresh legs and most of us are fit. Obviously, we lost Abbie [McManus] to a horrible injury last week and Megan [Campbell] suffered an ankle knock on Wednesday but everyone else is in good shape for Sunday's game.

"We've taken three points away from Reading; now we'll prepare for Sunday and we'll look forward to hopefully, booking a semi-final spot."