Chambers Named Player of the Year
Saturday, 13th Apr 2019 21:57
Skipper Luke Chambers was named the official Supporters Club’s Player of the Year at the Player Awards evening in Legends this evening.
Chambers (pictured above receiving his award from club sponsor Damian Anderson), received 29 per cent of the vote but was run close for the gong by runner-up Matthew Pennington (26 per cent) with Trevoh Chalobah third (19 per cent).
The Blues skipper, who recently signed a new contract, also won the Ultimate Supporters Award (formerly the Away Match Passport Holders Award), while Jack Lankester was named the Dale Roberts Academy Player of the Year.
Manager Paul Lambert, warmly welcomed by a sell-out crowd, was also handed an award by Supporters Club veteran Irene Davey bearing the inscription ‘Thanks for putting the smile back on the terraces’.
All this season's 16 full debutants were given silver salvers with most of the first team squad and staff present.
Speaking to host Terry Butcher after being handed the Harwich Rosebowl, Chambers said: “It’s not the ideal situation to receive the award but all I can say is thanks to everyone that voted and it’s a nice thing to receive but it’s not the circumstances I’d want to receive it.
“The support we’ve received as players when we could have been called anything under the sun, we’ve all had our tough times as players. I don’t think there’s really anyone that massively deserves the Player of the Year award.
“Obviously you guys probably should have got an award at some point for the support you’ve given us.
“It’s been a frustrating time, but we’ve got a good group of players, good staff behind us and we’ll crack on.”
Chambers paid tribute to the club’s support: “Football’s a game of opinions, you play the game and you know individually if you give possession away or someone has a bad touch or someone misses a chance, in the past three years there have obviously been frustrations and that’s sort of come through on the pitch.
“But now, I think the lads have been given so much support so when a mistake is made it’s just batted off and everyone’s pushing in the same direction.
“As the gaffer, it’s kept the lads going massively. The one thing we have taken from this season is the support we’ve had and we hope to repay that next season.”
Reflecting on the club's relegation, he said: “This is not good day for the club, we’re going down a division. I don’t want to put a downer on it.
“We’ve got to continue to be positive after tonight, everyone stick together, which I’m sure we will.”
Looking ahead to next season and League One, Chambers believes the Blues' young squad will have learnt a lot from this season's disappointments.
“I am confident, I think we’ve got players that have stepped up this year. They have the experiences of winning a few games and all the ups and downs in this division and there’ll be no player that will be coming into next season in a worse place.”
He continued: “Everyone’s going to be stronger mentally, everyone’s going to have that experience of [this season].
“I think the boys who [came in last summer] have proven themselves in the division we’re going to be in.
"I’ll take Jon Nolan as an example. I think Jon will be honest and say that it took him four or five months to get himself to the level he wants to be at.
“And I think when we've had that many players who have had to step up a level, it was always going to be difficult for them this season. We’ll see that [from them] next season, definitely.”
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