As a mercurial forward, Fran Kirby strikes fear into the heart of any defence she encounters, and the FA Women’s Spring League 1 Spring Series was no different.

The 24-year-old topped the goalscoring charts, finishing alone on six strikes from five appearances, one ahead of Liverpool’s Caroline Weir.

Chelsea striker Kirby was presented with the FA WSL 1 Spring Series Top Goal Scorer gong at Friday’s FA Women’s Football Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

It was an especially impressive return from the former Reading striker, after long-term knee and ankle injuries kept her on the sidelines for the best part of a year going into the competition.

“It’s really nice for me, coming back from an injury and getting on the scoreboard was nice,” said Kirby, who has seven goals in 23 England appearances.

“Ultimately it was all about getting back playing, so I’m really happy to be able to win this award.

“My team mates put me in the best positions for me to score, a lot of my goals come from in and around the box.

“The build-up play is important, and we put a lot of hours in on the training pitch – I’m always trying to put in more time in.

“I like to create goals but I also like to score them at the same time. The most important thing for me is putting the ball in the back of the net, though.”

The FA Women’s Football Awards celebrated an exciting year for women’s football and recognised the achievements of clubs, players, staff and the excellent work by volunteers at the grassroots level of the game.

The awards also highlighted the success of The FA’s Gameplan for Growth, launched earlier in 2017, which aims to double participation and the fanbase of the women’s game by 2020 and create sustained success at elite international level.

Kirby’s ability to unlock backlines was key in England’s memorable run to the semi-finals of this year’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 championships in the Netherlands.

And while she admitted the summer was full of emotion, her focus now is on hitting the ground running with Chelsea, whom she joined in 2015.

“The Euros were an unreal experience,” Kirby said. “I really enjoyed it and managed to play a lot of minutes that I didn’t expect to after coming back from an injury, but ultimately it was an amazing experience.

“With regards to pre-season, we’ve had some hard games going into it, which is what we needed with the Champions League coming up, but we’ve really enjoyed it.

“We look really fit and really fresh going into the season and everyone is looking forward to it.”

For more information and to see all the award winners visit  Join the conversation online using the hashtag #FAWomensAwards.