Well we were all on a high after the morning's event at Brockham Big Field!! So it was great to have a Saturday afternoon knockabout as a lads versus dads game to release some of the adrenaline from the morning!!. Experience won through on this occasion with the Dad's victorious but to be fair many of the boys will have been exhausted after the events of the morning!!
Anyway, on to the end of season awards. Overall it has been a great season with the Magpies holding their own in the top division in the league. It's been great to see the improvements through the season and we now really have a great foundation to work from for next year. The levels of application, perseverance, maturity and never-say-die attitude have been fantastic and it was great to finish the season in such a positive way with that trophy!
Of course the awards recognise individual achievements, but a shout out to every single player this season, as everyone has made such a great contribution and there is a real team ethos and supportive and positive spirit around the group which is fantastic to see.
So here are the end of season awards, arrived after much deliberation from the coaching staff:-
Most Improved Player - Ethan James-Nall - Ethan has been an ever-present throughout the season with 23 appearances. He's also at every training session and his attitude and application has been fantastic this year. After Christmas, we gave him the opportunity to try some different positions and he really knuckled down and listened admirably, resulting in a steady improvement over the remainder of the season. Well done Ethan!!
Parents Player - Tom Bonney - Tom has once again kept his high standards of effort and skill this season, and in particular he has improved his positional play and reading of the game, playing in the pivotal role of central midfield. It's a tough position to play in, but Tom has matured this season by learning to release the ball earlier and it's been no co-incidence that when he plays well, the team plays well. Congratulations Master Bonney!!
Coaches Player - Charlie D'Aoust - Again, almost an ever present on a matchday, Charlie has excelled this year and it became a watershed moment in the season when he was moved into a central midfield to help Tom out and bolster our presence in the middle of the park. Charlie combines his skill with tenacity and he does a lot of the less glamorous tracking back work which the coaches wanted to give him recognition for. He has also matured with his decision-making on the pitch a great deal this season, so well played Charlie!!
Players Player - Liam Spackman - This award was won by a clear margin, showing what his peers have thought in terms of the impact he has made this year. There were some big changes in personnel with the u12s this year, and this meant Liam was asked to fill in the centre half role. Not only has this meant a step up physically, but this has also needed Liam to read the game better and he has coped with both these added responsibilities admirably. Liam is now maturing into a very competent and combative centre half which is great to see. Richly deserved award, Liam!!!
Top Scorer - Hamish Skinner - the 'golden boot' is typically contested by two or three players with a team reliant on a striker or two to bag the goals, but this season five players were in with a shout of the u12 top scorer award. That can be an indication of a good side in that several players can get on the scoresheet with Jack, Rowan, Gethin, Tom and Hamish all scoring between 8-10 goals. The top scorer award was given to Hamish after, helped by a brace of hatricks at Dorkinians (A) and Ewhurst Tigers (H), he ended the season with a haul of 10 goals. Although he has played upfront, he has also played at left back and his combative but skilful approach has been a real asset to the Magpies this season. Hats off to you, Hamish!!!
Overall the squad has been a pleasure to manage this year and what has been impressive is the levels of effort and the fact they have the boys have listened to the coaches and responded on the pitch.
Of course none of this would be possible without the help of Ness, to whom we are all eternally grateful, and we'd also like to thank Callum for his help at training and a matchday. Finally thanks to you all as parents (and supporters) for you commitment and support, for helping set up and pack away on a matchday (shout outs to Stu, Steve, Al, Mark, Garry and Jo).
We have a couple of tournaments to finish the season and then we will be into preparing for next season, which I'm sure you will all agree, we will be able to look forward to with some anticipation.