OLDHAM-born midfield star Katie Zelem has won the inaugural Manchester United Women's player of the year award.

The 23-year-old was shortlisted by her team-mates alongside Millie Turner and Leah Galton for the award and voted the winner by fans ahead of last Thursday's awards dinner at Old Trafford.

Zelem has been a regular in the heart of midfield this season, netting 11 goals so far as Casey Stoney's side cruised to the FA Women's Championship in their first season.

They picked up the title trophy on Saturday after a 5-0 win against Lewes at Leigh Sports Village in front of another bumper crowd.

The former Juventus midfielder has been a key figure and helped the Reds gain promotion to the Women’s Super League, while also reaching the Continental Tyres League Cup semi-finals and SSE Women’s FA Cup quarter-finals.

Zelem was also named the FA Women’s Championship Player of the Month for March after playing a starring role during a key month for United Women.

After receiving club's first ever women's player award, Zelem told manutd.com: "It’s amazing.

"It makes it even more special that it’s the first ever award.

"I couldn’t have asked much more from the first season to be honest.

"Every one of the girls has played a part, whether it be on the pitch or off the pitch.

"Likewise with the staff, Casey’s got us really close together and I think you can see that by the performances on the pitch.”

Zelem began her career with the Red Devils as a youngster before having spells with Liverpool and Juventus due to United not having a senior women's side at the time.

But once that was founded last year, Zelem was keen to head home to the North West.

She added: "I was so excited to be honest. It was always in my plans whether it was five years away, 10 years away.

"I did always hope to come back to Manchester United. It happened much sooner than I expected and I’m so glad it did and hopefully I can stay here for a while.”

With the Reds set to face the likes of champions Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in next year's Women's Super League, Zelem is excited about the challenges that lie ahead.

She said: “I’m so excited, to be honest.

"For me it’s where we deserve to be, testing ourselves against the best and we can see where we’re at and make a plan from there.”