BLADES PILE UP THE TROPHIES!
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.
“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.”
UP, UP AND AWAY: Sheffield United players celebrate after being crowned League One champions
WINNERS: Chris Wilder, left, and Leon Clarke take the plaudits