Sarah Mayling of Birmingham City Birmingham City Women v Manchester United Women, WSL football match, The Autotech Stadium, Solihull, UK - 13 Sep 2020 Photo: Paul Currie for The FA

Departing Birmingham City boss Ward hails ‘exceptional’ Mayling

Departing Birmingham City head coach Carla Ward has labelled versatile defender Sarah Mayling as ‘exceptional’ after she picked up the club’s Players’ Player of the Season award.

The 24-year-old right-back has filled various positions for the Blues this season, providing quality in several areas of the pitch.

Mayling has clocked up more Barclays FA Women’s Super League minutes under Ward than she has in any previous season and the Blues head coach is full of praise for the player’s efforts in 2020/2021.

“Sarah Mayling is exceptional, she really is,” Ward said when speaking to FAWSL Full-Time. “I have said it time and time again this season, she can play anywhere in the division.

“She is an unbelievable character, she oozes a lot of quality on and off the pitch and she is such a humble individual.

“She has got a fantastic career ahead of her. Like I said, she could go anywhere.”

Ward told the players that she will be stepping down this morning with her final game in charge being the Vitality Women’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Southampton on Sunday. She said that the discussion was one which turned out to be very emotional.

“You can probably see from my eyes, they are still a little bit raw,” said the Blues boss. “I came in quite strong this morning to tell them and I had it very rehearsed in my head what I was going to say.

“I must admit, I don’t cry in-front of anyone and I think after the first two words, I had a complete meltdown, it was horrible.

“It sums up how I feel about the group. It is devastating to share that with them because we stuck together this year, it has been tough and they have been unbelievable.

“I am not going to lie, it was really, really tough and it was emotional for everybody in the room but ultimately, the time is right to be stepping away.”

Birmingham City’s final fixture of the 2020/2021 campaign against Southampton at the SportNation.bet Stadium kicks-off at 12.30pm on Sunday.

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