Monday, 21 March 2011

The Football League Awards 2011

The 2011 edition of the Football League Awards was held at a glittering ceremony in London last night, and Can We Play You Every Week casts its eyes over the winners from the Championship, League One and League Two.

The biggest prize of the night was undoubtedly the award for the Championship Player of the Year. From a shortlist that certainly raised eyebrows for the omissions of leading scorer Danny Graham and Jay Bothroyd, who received an England call-up last November, it was Queen Park Rangers’ Adel Taarabt who deservedly took home the trophy over fellow nominees Grant Holt and Scott Sinclair. I was fortunate enough to see Taarabt play earlier in the season and he is by far the most talented individual I have witnessed in the division. His contribution to Rangers’ position at the top of the table is unquestionable, with the attacking midfielder either scoring or assisting almost half of his team’s goals this season. Although the Moroccan international had a fairly mixed degree of success at former club Tottenham Hotspur, he has more than demonstrated his credentials in the Championship this season and I for one am looking forward to him plying his trade in the Premier League next term.

Peterborough forward Craig Mackail-Smith
won the League One Player of the Year Award.
In League One, Peterborough striker Craig Mackail-Smith beat Glenn Murray and Bradley Wright-Phillips to the Player of the Year Award. Mackail-Smith has scored an impressive 22 league goals this season and has managed 91 goals in 199 appearances during his five seasons with Posh, a record that understandably has put him firmly on the radar of clubs in the higher divisions, with Championship promotion hopefuls Norwich City the most recent team to have had an offer rejected for 27 year old forward.

The winner of the League Two Player of the Year Award was Bury’s Ryan Lowe, who won the prize ahead of Gareth Ainsworth and Adam Le Fondre. Lowe is currently the Football League’s highest scorer with 23 goals in 37 appearances. Lowe was also Bury’s leading scorer last term and has this season broken a 53 year old club record by scoring in 10 consecutive league games.

Ipswich Town striker Connor
Wickham won the Football League
Young Player of the Year Award.
The Football League Young Player of the Year trophy is always one of great celebration, as it not only is awarded to a player who has performed well over the duration of the season, but also points to the recipient being a rising star in the game, with former notable winners including Gareth Bale, Michael Kightly and Fabian Delph. This year’s winner was Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham, who beat Henri Lansbury and Will Buckley to the award. The 17 year old looks set to have a bright future in the game and has impressed under new Tractor Boys’ boss Paul Jewell, scoring six league goals and earning his first cap for the England U21s. Wickham was last night also presented with his second award of the evening, the Championship Apprentice of the Year, which awards the most successful under-18 of the season.

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