The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By John Lyons

MID­DLES­BROUGH striker Pa­trick Bamford has been re­warded for his su­perb sea­son with the Cham­pi­onship Player of the Year award.

The Chelsea loa­nee held off the chal­lenge of fel­low nom­i­nees, Ip­swich’s Daryl Mur­phy and Wat­ford’s Troy Deeney, to take the ac­co­lade when the Foot­ball League held their awards night in Lon­don last Sun­day.

Prior to the week­end, the 21year-old hit­man had net­ted 17 league goals to spear­head Boro’s pro­mo­tion bid.

The for­mer Not­ting­ham For­est for­ward, who has also had loan spells with MK Dons and Derby since sign­ing for Chelsea in 2012, be­lieves his Foot­ball League ex­pe­ri­ence has been vi­tal in his pro­gres­sion.

He said: “There’s a mas­sive dif­fer­ence be­tween play­ing U21 foot­ball and be­ing on the bench at Chelsea, and play­ing ev­ery week in a league where you are play­ing for peo­ple’s liveli­hoods and help­ing to pay their mort­gages. At my age you need to play and I’d ad­vise ev­ery young player to go out on loan.”

Pre­ston striker Joe Gar­ner, 27, claimed the League One prize, edg­ing out MK Dons star Dele Alli, who won the Young Player of the Year hon­our ahead of Bamford and Nor- wich’s Nathan Red­mond, and Bris­tol City mid­fielder Luke Free­man. Bury winger Danny Mayor, 24, pic­tured, was voted the best player in League Two. He saw off Shrews­bury’s Ryan Woods and Wy­combe’s Al­fie Maw­son.

The di­vi­sional Player of the Year win­ners were de­cided by a vote among club man­agers in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions.

Ex-Wat­ford, Birm­ing­ham and Black­pool striker Kevin Phillips col­lected the Sir Tom Fin­ney Award, pre­sented to a re­cently re­tired player that has had an out­stand­ing ca­reer in the League.

The Con­tri­bu­tion to League Foot­ball Award was given posthu­mously to the late Ma­jor Frank Buck­ley, who had a renowned ca­reer as a manager and player in the Foot­ball League, and no­tably served his coun­try with distinc­tion as part of the Foot­ballers’ Bat­tal­ions in World War One.

To mark the awards’ 10th an­niver­sary, the Foot­ball League chose a Team of the Decade.

Bossed by Bournemouth manager Ed­die Howe, the team se­lected was: Kasper Sch­me­ichel, An­gel Ran­gel, Wes Mor­gan, Ash­ley Wil­liams, Gareth Bale, Wes Hoola­han, Adam Lal­lana, Peter Whit­ting­ham, Glenn Mur­ray, Rickie Lam­bert, Jor­dan Rhodes.

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP WIN­NER: Boro striker Pa­trick Bamford

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