THE STATS don't lie and they paint quite a picture when it comes to Athlone Town's recent form, which has been achieved thanks to the performances from captain Laurie Ryan.
Athlone have won five of their last six games - only a narrow loss to Peamount United spoiling their run - to move up to fourth place in the SSE Airtricity Women's National League.
The victories have been secured due to a massive team effort from Tommy Hewitt's outfit, but there is no denying the influence that Ryan has had on those games. The Clare native is winning more duels, making more interceptions and completing more passes than ever before.
Ryan is the type of player who brings out the best in those around her, but this season she is standing out all on her own. It's not that she is seeking a share of the spotlight; she's just playing incredibly well.
Upon receiving the award, Ryan said: "I'm delighted to win the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League Player of the Month award. I was really shocked when I got the phone call. It's a massive achievement for myself, personally, but also for the club. It just shows that we are starting to get some recognition.
"I'm getting to work with a lot of really nice girls and that's key because I might wear the captain's armband but the squad is filled with leaders. There is so many girls stepping up this year which is brilliant to see."
Leanne Sheill, SSE Airtricity Marketing Manager, said: “Congratulations to Laurie Ryan on being named the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League Player of the Month for April. She has been instrumental in Athlone Town’s great start to the season and it’s clear that Laurie is an excellent leader for her team.
"Furthermore, her exploits in GAA with Clare make this achievement all the more inspiring! Her ability to effectively manage her time and perform at the highest level in two sports is incredible. We can’t wait to see how the season progresses with so many great teams making it a really competitive league this year.”
Ryan was selected ahead of Galway WFC midfielder Julie-Ann Russell and Peamount United striker Áine O'Gorman.