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Shrimpers Trust Player of the Year Awards 2011/12 - 3rd May 2012
The Shrimpers Trust held their 2011/12 Player of the Year Awards on 3rd May in the Shrimpers Bar at Roots Hall.
Joining the 100 plus Trust members on the night were Paul Sturrock, Graham Coughlan and the Southend United Senior squad.
Ricky Duncan and his under 18's Youth team squad also attended, along with Southend United's new CEO Gary Lockett.

The evening included various presentations to members of the first and youth teams, culminating in the Trust's 2011/12 Goal of the Season and Player of the Year awards.

The Trust's Vice Chairman, Paul Yeomanson who was host for the evening opened by extending a warm welcome to everyone and in particular thanked Paul, Graham, Ricky and the players for attending the event.

Youth Team Awards

The Trust's ongoing involvement with the Youth structure was highlighted, which included donations made to the Centre of Excellence, as well as shirt sponsorship of the Youth team which had been in place for the last 4 ½ years.

The under 18's had indeed this season finished 6th in the Football League Youth Alliance and had reached the 2nd round of the FA Youth Cup narrowly losing to a strong Brentford side.

Congratulations were extended to goalkeeper Luke Chambers who had secured a 2 year professional contract with the Club, and to Ryan Auger (full-back), Louis Baucutt (centre-half) and Jack Paxman (midfield) who had all been offered 1 year development contracts.

Player of the Month:
As part of the Trust's involvement with the Youth team, Player of the Month awards were made throughout the season, with the winners being chosen by Ricky Duncan and the Trust's Rob Craven.

In recognition of the above, a commemorative framed photo was presented by Ricky to each winner, which were as follows;

  • August – Marlon Agyakma
  • September – Aaron Tatham
  • October- Jack Payne
  • November – Luke Chambers
  • December/January – Luke Chambers
  • February – Mitchell Pinnock
  • March/April – Robert Hyams
Player of the Year:
The winner of this award was presented with the Tom Grace Memorial Shield. The Youth Team Player of the Year award had been renamed in memory of avid Southend United supporter and junior member of the Trust Tom Grace, who sadly had passed away at the age of 15 in 2007. Tom's family had joined the evening, with his father Len making the presentations. Overall winner was Jack Payne with 1st runner up Ryan Auger and 2nd runner up Luke Chambers.

Following all presentations Ricky Duncan spoke briefly of his work as Head of Youth, with his key objective being to produce as many players as possible who then would make the transition into the first team. Ricky finished by saying how appreciative he was of the Trust's ongoing support to the Youth team and how he very much valued their involvement as a key sponsor.

Southend Junior Shrimpers Player of the Year

The SJS Player of the Year as voted for by the Trust's under 16 members, was presented to Southend defender Mark Phillips by Junior Shrimper Luke Edmonds.

Top Traveler Awards

For the 2011/12 season the Trust had again run coaches to all away league and cup fixtures, having so far clocked up some 8,768 miles. There were three supporters, Shane Chapman, Lesley Hicks and Gaye Overall who had travelled with the Trust to all these games. With the possibility remaining that Southend would be involved in the play offs, there would of course potentially be more miles to be added to the tally. It was therefore confirmed that the Top Traveler Awards would be made at a later date. Current Top Junior Traveler Luke Chittocks (7,554 miles) would also receive his award at the same time.

Finally on behalf of the Trust Committee and those was had travelled with the Trust this term, Paul Yeomanson thanked Clare Brooks for all the work she had once again undertaken this season organising and running Away travel.

Goal of the Season

The Martin Cramner Goal of the Season award, named in memory of lifelong Southend United supporter Martin who had passed away at the start of the 2010/11 season aged 40, was presented by his wife Zoe Cranmer. The contenders for this award as voted by Trust members, were Bilel Mohsni v Northampton at home, Ryan Hall v Cheltenham at home and Anthony Grant v Wimbledon at home. Defender/utility man Bilel Mohsni's first goal in the Northampton match, a screamer from 35 yards, was adjudged to be a very popular winner.

Player of the Season

Paul Sturrock presented the main award of the evening. 2nd runner up was Ryan Hall, 1st runner up Mark Phillips, with Trust members voting defender Sean Clohessy as their overall winner. In accepting his award, Sean who had made near on 50 league and cup appearances for the Blues so far this season, thanked both Paul Sturrock and Graham Coughlan for the ongoing support and guidance they had given to him during his time to date with the Club. He also paid tribute to his team mates who he said had performed very well this season.

Paul Sturrock on behalf of his management team and the players thanked the Trust for their support and financial backing over the last season, which he said was greatly appreciated. He added that he was keen for this relationship to continue.

Turning his thoughts to the weekend match against Macclesfield Town and the possibility if other results went our way that Southend could secure automatic promotion, he said that he was insisting that his players focus on the job in hand and that they didn't worry about other results. He urged that supporters should give full and vocal support to the team on Saturday and not be too dispirited should we not make it at the weekend. He stressed that the important thing was to secure three points on Saturday and then we would have kept the winning momentum going into any play off situation.

Paul finished off by taking a few questions from the floor, including enlightening the audience regarding his lucky cream jacket which he vowed to keep wearing to matches until we lost. Paul however made it clear that combining his kilt with the jacket for the last game of the season would not an option for him!

He described the 2011/12 season as a roller-coaster of ups and downs which had included some excellent performances from the team, particularly away from home, but that there had also been some poor performances at home. Whilst we had suffered in terms of selection options due to injuries and suspensions, he paid credit to his squad of players who he said had all worked very hard throughout the season. All he said had been fantastic.

In response to a question asking for more detail regarding any proposed pre-season tour for next season, Paul confirmed that no firm decision had been made on location as yet. Whilst giving somewhat cryptic clues regarding potential locations, he would not be further drawn. Also he said that no decisions had been made as yet regarding players who might be retained or released by the Club. This he said would be very much driven by budget, but would not be considered until the 2011/12 season was brought to a conclusion.

Having read out a short message from the Trust Chairman Paul FitzGerald who unfortunately due to business commitments had not been able to attend the evening, Paul Yeomanson wrapped the evening up by thanking Paul, Graham, Ricky, the support teams and all the players for taking the time to attend the evening.

Final thanks were also given to Trust members who had attended and for all the support they had given to the Trust over the season.

In was noted that the auction of the 2011/12 home shirt signed by the first team raised £130. The raffle which had been held on the night raised a further £140.
Further pictures from the Awards Evening can be found on the Trusts Facebook Page here .
Video Highlights of the Awards Evening can be found here.
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