Japan Women’s Empowerment Professional Football League (WE LEAGUE) is pleased to announce that the 2021-22 WE LEAGUE Most Valuable Player (MVP) has been awarded to YAMASHITA Ayaka of INAC KOBE LEONESSA.
The MVP winner, YAMASHITA, will receive 500,000 JPY prize money and a glass plaque. The winner will also be awarded by the League Title Partner, Yogibo, 1,000,000 JPY prize money and a special Yogibo MAX originally designed specifically for the MVP winner.
INAC KOBE LEONESSA, GK 18
This first season of the 2021-22 Yogibo WE LEAGUE was a significant year for YAMASHITA, who decided to move to her then, rival team, INAC KOBE LEONESSA, before the season kicked-off in September 2021. Although it is very rare for a goalkeeper to attract this much attention during a season, she proved herself to be worthy of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, by taking advantage of her team’s defensive and attacking strategies, and remaining focused on her own strengths in supporting the team’s build-up to each goal.
As a result, YAMASHITA successfully achieved a consecutive clean-sheet record from the start of the season until the ninth game.
This contributed to the team's solid defensive performance, only conceding 9 goals throughout the season, and leading the team to its first league title.