Sam Reach is chosen as Young Player of the Season
This is the first season we have had a Young Player of the Season award up for grabs, it was introduced to combat the declining numbers of young players at and joining the club, in 2017/2018 we had only four players aged 23 or under that made more than six appearances. This season we had 13 players make ten more appearances and a further six play less. So clearly we had a few choices for Young Player of the Season. At the forefront of our consideration were Josh Bolton, who would collect Darylís Managerís Player of the Season for the Reserves along with two players who collected awards last season, Max Juster and George Godlbold.
An honourable mention should go to Freddie Ward who joined in the New Year and proved excellent at centre back for the Reserves. He picked up three Man of the Match awards in 12 matches, including the first on his debut. Had he joined at the start of the season we felt he would have been in the running for any of the end of season awards.
But the inaugural winner of the Young Player of the Season is ironically almost the oldest player eligible. Sam Reach returned for his second spell with the club at the beginning of this season to replace the side-stepping Miles Berry, who had very bravely replaced Steve Zebedee at the end of 2016/2017. Sam played 25 times this season, 17 for the Reserves, and he was happy to cover the First Team whenever needed. His willingness to step-up meant that he played eight games for the First Team and for the whole season they never went without one of the clubís specialist goalkeepers in their squad.
Sam became a bit of a penalty hero this season. He made a penalty save against Westbourne Warriors as the Reserves were kept in the game in the Junior Cup Quarter-Final. In the round before he had kept out all three penalty kicks by Kesgrave Kestrels during the shoot-out.
Sam kept two clean sheets, one for each team. In addition, he was voted as Man of the Match twice, once for each team.
I think we should sum up with Darylís reaction when Rich and I suggested Sam for the award, 100% agree with that, [he has] been outstanding this season.