BLADES PILE UP THE TRO­PHIES!

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Tom Black­ett

SH­EFFIELD United shone bright as a team this sea­son – and it’s no sur­prise the in­di­vid­ual ac­co­lades are pil­ing up, too.

Man­ager Chris Wilder has been named the Sky Bet Man­ager of the Month for April, while striker Leon Clarke has picked up the player award.

Wilder’s Blades won all six of their fix­tures with a 16-3 goal dif­fer­en­tial to reach the cen­tury point mark.

“To win the ti­tle and to get 100 points is an ex­cep­tional achieve­ment by every­one,” said the for­mer Northamp­ton boss.

“Sometimes it’s dif­fi­cult when you do achieve what you set out to do, which was to get pro­moted, then win the ti­tle and have a few games left.

“We could have just said ‘that’s us done, we’ve had a great sea­son, thanks very much’, but to win the last three games in the man­ner that we did (to get to 100 points) was a ter­rific achieve­ment.”

For­ward Clarke, 32, weighed in with six goals in six games as the Blades swept their op­po­nents away.

Wilder said: “Leon has been great of late. On a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, he has been the best player on the pitch. “His goals have been fan­tas­tic, but his strength, link-up play and all-round game have been in­valu­able to our fin­ish to the cam­paign. He has de­served his ac­claim from the Blades fans.” Clarke said: “The man­ager has been the driv­ing force be­hind our suc­cess, not just in April but through­out the sea­son. “It has been a nice end to the sea­son for me per­son­ally. It is fan­tas­tic to be able to con­trib­ute and be part of it with the lads.” Ri­vals Sh­effield Wed­nes­day scooped one of the prizes as Car­los Carvalhal was re­warded with the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship Man­ager of the Month award. The Owls surged into the play-offs with 19 points from seven un­beaten games in a spec­tac­u­lar April. “Wed­nes­day fans know I pre­fer the col­lec­tive awards more than the in­di­vid­ual, be­cause foot­ball is a col­lec­tive sport,” said the mod­est man­ager.

“I need to thank the play­ers, the fans, the cook, be­cause I’m part of a big group that tries ev­ery day to be bet­ter and bet­ter. This is what the prize rep­re­sents to me, a col­lec­tive award that we’re very proud to re­ceive.”

Portsmouth boss Paul Cook, whose side picked up 16 points from six un­beaten games to clinch pro­mo­tion, col­lected the League Two gong.

De­serve

“It’s al­ways nice to get any kind of per­sonal ac­co­lade, but it’s the play­ers who de­serve all of the plau­dits,” he said. “To fin­ish the sea­son in the man­ner they have takes a lot of char­ac­ter and determination.”

Read­ing striker Yann Ker­mor­gant bagged the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship Player of the Month tro­phy.

In the month in which he an­nounced he will re­tire at the end of next sea­son, the 35-yearold French­man showed he is still at the top of his game with seven goals in as many games. Roy­als boss Jaap Stam said: “Yann has picked up his goalscor­ing form as the cam­paign has gone on, and it’s great that he is get­ting goals at this stage of the sea­son. Let’s hope he keeps on scor­ing for us!” Ker­mor­gant said: “It feels great to win the Player of the Month award. I’m re­ally proud of it as it’s my first in­di­vid­ual tro­phy.” New­port County de­fender Mickey Demetriou has claimed the League Two hon­our. Dom­i­nant as his rel­e­ga­tion­threat­ened side kept four clean sheets, the 27-year-old also made a telling im­pact with three goals, in­clud­ing a long-range win­ner against Craw­ley and a cru­cial free-kick against Yeovil. Demetriou said: “I have never been nom­i­nated for this award be­fore, so I was pleased just to be in con­tention. To come out on top is a very proud mo­ment for me. “Re­ceiv­ing this award is great not only from a per­sonal point of view, but it’s also a recog­ni­tion for what the whole team achieved in April.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

UP, UP AND AWAY: Sh­effield United play­ers cel­e­brate af­ter be­ing crowned League One cham­pi­ons

WIN­NERS: Chris Wilder, left, and Leon Clarke take the plau­dits

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