'The best years of her career are still ahead of her'

Norfolk's Lauren Hemp with the match ball after her four-goal salvo for England

Norfolk's Lauren Hemp - record-breaking award winner - Credit: PA

Norfolk’s Lauren Hemp has made footballing history at the tender age of 21 – but her coach says there is more to come. 

Hemp has been named PFA Young Player of the Year for a record fourth time – and third time in a row. It’s the longest period any player, male or female, has claimed the prize in consecutive seasons since the award’s inception in 1974. 

Her head coach at Manchester City, Gareth Taylor described it as “an astonishing feat” by the player from North Walsham. 

“We are all absolutely delighted that Lauren has gained the recognition she deserves by winning this award once again,” said Taylor. 

“A fourth PFA Young Player of the Year award – and third in succession - is an astonishing feat, and one that she fully deserves for her hard work over the past four years at the club. 

“She has firmly established herself as a key member of the group here and we are very lucky to have her. 

“At 21, it is incredibly exciting to think that the best years of her career are still ahead of her and hopefully they will be spent winning plenty more trophies at Manchester City. 

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“Lauren’s motivation to keep on improving and general attitude around the training ground makes me confident that she will continue to hit new heights in the coming years, supported by the brilliant team and coaching staff around her.” 

Hemp, who first won the award in 2018 whilst with Bristol City, scored 21 goals in 37 appearances for City in 2021/22. She as the club’s top scorer and top of the assists table, with 10. 

Hemp said: "We’ve got a fantastic squad and players who get me the ball in good positions and strikers who can finish the crosses that I put in wherever I put them. 

“I’ve got a great set of staff as well, people who are always pushing me, wanting me to get better so, I appreciate it and I know there’s so much more to come. 

“I'm going to keep working hard for that to make sure that I continue on the right path.” 

Hemp will be hoping the PFA isn’t the final silverware of the year – she is in Lionesses provisional squad for next month's European Championships, which are being played in England.