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Club Celebrates At Hoddesdon Town FC Presentation Evening

Club Celebrates At Hoddesdon Town FC Presentation Evening

Jon Dean21 Apr - 20:08
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'Jack The Lad' As Gibbs Cleans Up In Four Gong Conclusion

'I always felt that our triumphs were an expression of the constant application of discipline. Once you bid farewell to discipline you say goodbye to success...'
- Sir Alex Ferguson

The 2023/2024 season was celebrated with aplomb on Saturday evening as the club came together to look back on a fascinating year of football for the Lilywhites.

Buoyed by a 1-0 win away to Park View FC earlier in the day, spirits were high back at the clubhouse and it was standing room only for those in attendance. Players, management, committee, parents, supporters, WAG's and more were present as the club dished out it's annual awards and recognised all those who made outstanding contributions the club, both on and off the pitch.

Clubhouse Manager Harley Woods ensured everybody was fed and watered and Digital and Social Media Chair Jon Dean provided a slideshow on the big screen, which included many of the fantastic photos taken by club photographer Danny Smith this season, amongst a catalogue of videos from some of the teams most important moments along the way.

Before the awards ceremony begun, Chairman Stuart Varney gave a short speech, thanking everybody who had contributed this season, including his committee members, the management, the supporters, the volunteers and of course, the players. He touched upon many of the highs and lows of the year, including the highlight and jewel in the crown, successfully bringing home the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy on the 27th of March, for a record equalling fourth time.

Life Vice President Eric Cockman was on hand to present the Golden Boot Award for the club's top goalscorer of the season. With two games still to play, Connor Bolton claimed the award as he is now five goals clear of his nearest rival on twelve. Unfortunately, Bolton couldn't make the event due to being at a wedding and when we tried to facetime him for a live interview, our call went unanswered but we congratulate Connor for his achievement as well as his efforts this season.

The Charlie Brown Award is presented to somebody who has played a significant part in club life either on or off the pitch and this years award went to goalkeeper Liam Nugent. Vice Chairman Roger Merton MBE oversaw the presentation of the award. Liam has not only been fantastic on the field this season, but he has also contributed in other ways, not least by engaging with the youth section of the club, attending training sessions, meeting and greeting the youngsters at Lowfield and becoming somewhat of a cult hero to our young players. Honourable mentions were made to photographer Danny Smith and Webmaster Jon Dean for their great contributions this year too.

The Stuart Parker Award is presented to the player that embodies the spirit of the club. Perhaps not always the first name on the team sheet, or even the standout player at the end of 90 minutes, but the player that commits, works hard, sets an example and can be relied upon by the manager, no matter the situation. On that basis, Sid Barker was presented with trophy by Director of Football Ray Greenall, and we thank him for all he has done this season. Players like Sid are invaluable to the manager and to the team, and are the life blood of any club.

The Greene King Man of the Match Award has been a keenly fought battle this season with many players grabbing the prize throughout the season and again, with two games to go, there is still 2 or 3 players that could scoop the final award for the most 'MOMs' this season. The award will be presented at the conclusion of the season.

Young players have always been part of the ethos at Hoddesdon Town and that policy continued this season with the breakthrough of a number of our younger players cementing their place in the team. Jon Dean was on hand to present the Young Player of the Year Award to attacker Bailey Eden, who has lit up Lowfield at times this season and been the creative threat needed to unpick the lock of many a defence. Eden has a bright future in non league football and we look forward to seeing him continue his journey.

Committee Member Mick Clarke oversaw the presentation of the Most Improved Player of the Year Award, and that was handed to midfielder George Rankin. Much like Eden, the young midfielder has impressed enormously this year and become an integral part of the side. Always giving his all for the team, providing for his team mates and scoring goals, Rankin's star has risen continuously this season and he has developed into a key figure in Simon Riddle's team.

The Fred Varney Award, named in memory of one of our fiercest supporters, was presented this year to Elaine Phillips. Fred Varney was a supporter of Hoddesdon Town for 75 years, and in his time an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Committee. He passed away in 2011 at the age of eighty three, and as a tribute, his extended family members once again sponsored a Lilywhites home game against Southend Manor back in October, in his memory. Elaine's administrative duties this season, including manning the gate on many a cold Tuesday evening, taking the minutes at committee meetings, as well as working hard to help produce our match day programme saw her scoop the award and join a star studded list of previous winners, including Simon Riddle, Stuart Varney and Jon Dean. Betty Varney was on hand to make the presentation to Elaine.

Danny Smith was presented with a Special Recognition Award for his work this season behind the camera. Danny has become a key part of the Hoddesdon set up, particularly for his excellent photography skills. Documenting the highs and lows of a madcap year, Danny's images form a wonderful story of the season, capturing all the emotions of non league football on a match day. He has also produced some fine graphics for the website and social media channels, as well as mocking up posters for club events and helping us become a stronger presence in the important digital market. Danny was presented with his award by Chairman Stuart Varney.

The final four awards saw Jack Gibbs make club history and underline his credentials as one of the most valuable assets in the club's arsenal, in recent history.

The Supporter's Player of the Year Award was the first time the club has ever harnessed the power of social media, setting up an online system to collate the votes of the Lowfield faithful. In a close run battle with Liam Nugent, Jack won the award, and in turn, the plaudits of all those who come to watch the team throughout the season. Supporter Barry Abbott presented the award to Jack on behalf of all the Lilywhite fans.

Often viewed as the most prestigious award, the Player's Player Award gives the winner the nod of approval from his peers and shows just how highly thought of you are by your own team mates. Deputy Chairman Graham Phillips made the presentation and Jack took this award via the online digital voting system issued to the players and with that, the writing was on the wall for the club captain as we moved into the final awards of the evening.

Gibbs then also scooped the Manager's Player of the Year Award. Gaffer Simon Riddle deemed his captain worthy of the accolade, further highlighting his value to side, and thus presented Jack with the trophy to complete an incredible hat trick of silverware.

But we weren't done there.

The final award of the night saw Club President Peter Haynes present the prestigious Player of the Year Award to the player deemed by the committee to be the best player of the season. Again, for the first time ever, the votes were collected electronically and despite pressure from worthy runner up Liam Nugent, Jack Gibbs once again prevailed and took the prize, his FOURTH of the evening, to round off an incredible night for the Hoddesdon skipper. To win so many awards amongst such a hugely talented squad is real testament to Jack's skill, ability, leadership and character and everybody at the club congratulated Jack on his achievements.

With that, the gathered crowd continued to celebrate and did their best to drink the bar dry ahead of handing over the keys to Lowfield to our friends at Hoddesdon Cricket Club.

You can view a photo gallery of the evening by clicking HERE.

We would like to thank everybody who attended the Presentation Evening on Saturday, including the players, the management, all of our wonderful supporters and those who do so much behind the scenes to make Hoddesdon Town a club to be proud of.

And of course, we congratulate all of the award winners.

See you next season.

Come On You Lilywhites!!

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