DOZENS of Swifts players, staff, volunteers and supporters were recognised for their contributions to another unforgettable campaign at the club’s end-of-season awards bash on Friday evening (May 9).
Chairman Gary White told the crowd at the Aspen Waite Arena clubhouse how grateful he was to be at such a community-minded club on a night when several presentations were made.
Five members of the Swifts’ Bostik North squad received trophies after helping the club to a memorable play-off final win at derby rivals Maldon on the previous weekend.
The Supporters’ Player of the Year – voted for by the fans of course – went goalkeeper Chris Haigh, who crowned his memorable campaign with three saves in the play-off final penalty shoot-out against the Jammers.
The Players’ Player of the Year was Aussie midfielder Elliott Ronto, whose work rate and commitment has been vital since he made his debut in a 2-1 home win over Canvey in November.
The Young Players of the Year gong went to 22-year-old Odei Martin, the latest Spanish import to have success at Scraley Road after coming through the EnglandTheChance programme.
And there was a Special Recognition Award for EnglandTheChance founder and Swifts full-back Guillem Ramon, who has just moved back to Spain to become a father after three successful years with the club.
A keenly contested Goal of the Season prize when to Jack Adlington-Pile for his direct thunderbolt free-kick to seal a 2-1 Bostik North win against Grays in March.
And there was a Club Man of the Year for club photographer Alan Edmonds, who has been a regular on matchdays and produced stunning images which have regularly featured in the local newspaper. And who took (most!) of the photos here!
There was also a Special Services Award for the Hirst family, who have helped Club House manager Laura Hirst create a thriving social centre at the Aspen Waite Arena.
And there was a special recognition award for manager Julian Dicks, who led the team out of mid-table and comfortably into the play-off pack after his appointment in early October.
Flowers were presented to Swifts gate lady Bev, who is about to leave that role, and to Lisa Catchpole, Julian Dicks’ partner and his biggest supporter.
There was also a bouquet for Theresa Hirst, who has provided tasty and filling food for the squad this season.
And there were special thank yous to Club House manager Laura Hirst, who has transformed the place since joining in October, and to Lucy and Jane White, who play a vital role in the club’s administration.
* We will have an end-of-season review with comment from chairman Gary White for you on the website next week.