Four awards for striker as Valley finish third on UCL debut
PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Rugby Town's 2018/19 campaign concluded with a poor 3-0 defeat at Harborough at the weekend, as the club recorded a distant third place finish in their first year in the United Counties League Premier Division.
Valley's latest loss came on the back of the same scoreline at champions Daventry five days earlier, and therefore equalled their heaviest reverse of the season in the process.
Town ended up eight points ahead of adrift of runners-up Deeping Rangers - who last Saturday had managed to inflict only a second defeat of the season on the deserved title winners Daventry.
There had been an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the season the previous week, when players, management, officials and supporters gathered at the Butlin Road hospitality suite for the club's annual presentation ceremony.
The big winner of the evening was 22 year old Charlie Evans, who capped a commendable campaign by picking up four of the main awards.
In addition to topping the players' and supporters' player of the year polls, Evans also secured the Golden Boot for most goals in the season and the Media Star Man award - based on the man of the match nominations published in each week's Rugby Advertiser.
Valley boss Carl Adams went for full-back Keenah Rosser as his choice though, whilst the Vice Presidents picked keeper Matt Hill for their gong.
For the most appearances shield, Hill and Loyiso Recci were level having both only missed out on four starts all year, but Recci claimed the prize due to his better record in league matches.
Town Academy captain Josh Steele was handed the Call-a-Car commitment award in recognition for his breakthrough into the first team squad - which saw him feature in twenty games for them, with volunteers Jean and Digby Berry presented with the Carl Barnes Memorial Shield for their continued efforts towards fundraising activities.
Kitman Mark Cross, Secretary Doug Wilkins and his wife Veronica, Academy Manager Liam O'Neill and photographer Martin Pulley all received club awards for their contributions over the past twelve months.
The Academy awards were also presented at the event, with player of the year trophies going to Jensen Newey (overall), Steele (Under 19's), Jason Moon (ECFA) and Jai Rowe (players'), and Lewis Padmore securing the Academy top goalscorer honour.
Club Director Mike Yeats - and MC for the evening - thanked the many club volunteers and sponsors for their ongoing support, and he acknowledged the excellent contribution from the loyal band of fans who follow their team home and away.
Yeats also highlighted the rapid development of the club's academy - which was only established in the summer of 2018, and the continued development of the junior section too.
Both Adams and O'Neill spoke to review their areas of responsibility, with Adams further thanking the Valley faithful and O'Neill commenting on the hard work that had gone into establishing a programme that had seen 48 scholars enrol for its first year - with up to 80 expected to be on-board next time around.
Full list of award winners:
Players’ Player of the Year: Charlie Evans
Manager’s Player of the Year: Keenah Rosser
Kit Dand Memorial Trophy for Supporters’ Player of the Year: Charlie Evans
Vice President’s Player of the Year: Matt Hill
Golden Boot: Charlie Evans
Call-a-Car Award for Commitment: Josh Steele
Bob Giles Memorial Shield for Most Appearances: Loyiso Recci
Media Star Man Award: Charlie Evans
Carl Barnes Memorial Shield: Jean & Digby Berry
Clubmen of the Year: Mark Cross, Doug Wilkins, Liam O'Neill, Martin Pulley
Academy Overall Player of the Year: Jenson Newey
Academy Under 19's Player of the Year: Josh Steele
Academy ECFA Player of the Year: Jason Moon
Academy Players' Player of the Year: Jai Rowe
Academy Top Goalscorer: Lewis Padmore
Roy Miller Memorial Shield: Alex Hart
Rugby Advertiser 2018/19 Man of the Match nominations:
6 - Charlie Evans, 5 - Lewis Rankin, Danico Johnson, 4 - Edwin Ahenkorah, 3 - Richard Blythe, Matt Hill, Keenah Rosser, Loyiso Recci, Justin Marsden, 2 - Liam Francis, Harry Holloway, Lewis Hayden, 1 - Josh Steele, Fazel Koriya, Romario Martin, Dom Perkins, Eli Bako, Lee Thomas