The Shrimpers Trust held their 2016/17 Player of the Year Awards on 25th April in the Shrimpers Bar at Roots Hall.
Trust members were joined on the night by Phil Brown and his management team plus the Southend United 1st team squad. Youth team coach Dave Huzzey and his under 18’s squad also attended.
The evening included a number of presentations made to members of both the first and youth teams, culminating in the Trust’s 2016/17 Goal of the Season and Player of the Year awards.
Former Blues legend David Crown hosted the evening.
Goal of the Season:
The Martin Cramner Goal of the Season award, named in memory of lifelong Southend United supporter Martin who had passed away at the start of the 2010/11 season aged 40, was presented by his wife Zoe Cranmer. The contenders for this award as voted by Trust members were Stephen McLaughlin vs Bury (A), Simon Cox vs AFC Wimbledon (H), Nile Ranger vs AFC Wimbledon (H) and Ryan Leonard vs Oxford United (H). Striker Simon Cox was confirmed as winner of this award with his second half chip from the edge of the area in the home game vs Wimbledon during the Christmas break.
Youth Team Player of the Year:
Meanwhile, Elvis Bwomomo was the worthy recipient of the Tom Grace Memorial Shield, which is presented each season to the Youth Team Player of the Year in memory of Tom Grace an avid Southend United supporter and a junior member of the Trust who sadly passed away at the age of 15 in July 2007. Tom's family were guests of the Trust and his father, Len, helped Dave Huzzey present the awards. Runners up for this award were Dru Yearwood and Lewis Gard. Winner Elvis, a delightful young man said that he was accepting the award “on behalf of the academy” , confirming it had been a good season for him and the rest of the under 18’s squad, he took the time to also pay tribute to the hard work and support given to him and his colleagues by the Youth team coaches.
Dave Huzzey was invited to say a few words and he thanked the Shrimpers Trust members for their financial backing to the Youth set up again this term. Huzzey spoke of another fine campaign for the Under-18s, with it being worthy to note that 9 of the Youth team had been offered contracts by Southend United.
Junior Blues Player of the Year:
The Junior Blues Player of the Year as voted for by the Trust’s under 16 members was presented to Southend United striker Simon Cox by Junior Blues member Benny Mahoney. Ben had been selected at random from entries received to present the award.
Top Traveler Awards:
For the 2016/17 regular season the Trust had again run coaches to all away league and cup fixtures, having covered some 7,538 miles so far.
There were currently three supporters Peter Garland, Lesley Hicks and Nicola Slater who had travelled with the Trust to all these games. With the possibility of playoffs still being on the cards additional mileage could be added and it was therefore confirmed that the customary Top Traveler Awards would be made at a later date.
Current Top Junior Traveler Callum Turp (5,656 miles) would also receive his award at the same time.
A thank you was extended to all supporters who had travelled with the Trust so far this season and that the Trust looked forward to welcoming everyone back ready for the new season.
Player of the Season:
Manager Phil Brown presented the main award of the evening. Those nominated were Simon Cox, Anton Ferdinand, Ryan Leonard, Nile Ranger and Adam Thompson. 2nd runner up went to defender Adam Thompson, 1st runner up was striker Simon Cox. Blues versatile midfielder Ryan Leonard was voted by Trust members as their Player of the Season for 2016/17, with Ryan proving to be a very popular winner.
Phil Brown on behalf of his management team and the players took the opportunity to thank supporters for their continued support over the last season.
The evening was wrapped up with thanks to Phil, Dave and the rest of the management team plus all the players for taking the time to attend the evening. On behalf of everyone Phil and the 1st team squad were wished the very best of luck for the forthcoming game on Sunday vs. Bury.
Thanks were also given to Trust members who had attended on the night and to the various people who had helped organise the evening.
The auction held (Ted Smith’s goalkeeper gloves & Ambles Walkers Pack including shirt signed by the players etc.) raised a commendable £210.00. The raffle and door donations added a further £131 to Trust funds.