Nikita Woods has praised the support of her Woonona teammates after being named the Women's Premier League's inaugural player of the year.
The Sharks midfielder created a slice of history on Friday night when she claimed Football South Coast's top individual women's honour from Albion Park skipper Brittany Ring.
The day after collecting the award, Woods told the Mercury that she was incredibly proud to be named player of the year.
"I'm stoked, it's a very nice achievement. It's a credit to the girls and the club - we're all rapt about it," the 25-year-old said.
"It was a great year. I think we set ourselves some really good goals at the start, we mapped out where we wanted to go - and we unfortunately fell short at the last hurdle. But we're incredibly proud of how far we've come as a club and a team.
"We've had a tremendous amount of support from everyone."
Woods first started playing the round-ball game nearly two decades ago. Her journey has included two stints at Woonona, while she also spent four years in the US playing college football at Wyoming and Kansas.
Since returning to Australia, Sharks captain Morgan Anderson said Woods had continued to go from strength to strength.
"She plays in the centre of the park for us and goes into every game with the mentality of 'win the middle, win the game'. So she's an integral part of our team and why we had success this year," Anderson said.
"Nikita is a big ball of energy, there's never a dull moment while she's around. She's super positive and a great player, and a great person. She's dominated every season that she's played, but this year, I guess it just clicked a bit more with us, being able to play into her style.
'She's always been a fantastic player, we just probably utilised her a bit better in our playing style and as her teammates."
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