LOAN STAR BAMFORD BAGS TOP PRIZE
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