Four different players pick up player of the season accolades

TRIBUTES were paid to outgoing Ilfracombe Town manager Ross Middleton at the club’s annual awards evening this week.

Middleton received a plate from chairman Matthew Hayne for his services to the club, having played more than 400 times for the Bluebirds.

Club secretary Tony Alcock gave a talk going through some of Middleton’s stats – revealing that he is just 18 games shy of the club’s record for appearances in the Western League.

New manager Tom Bulley was also in attendance as Steve Holland picked up the supporters’ player of the year award, with key defender Gary Skinner named the players’ player.

Versatile youngster Kane Dryden was named manger’s player of the season, and winger Jamie Bright picked up the award for the most improved player in 2013/14.

Goalkeeper Kurtis Parkin scooped the chairman’s player of the season award, with Stan Paxton picking up the award for the club’s top goalscorer after netting 16 times last term.

Ian Cockwill was also presented with a special ‘team morale’ award after helping to keep spirits high during a tough season.

“It was a great night and the players and club should all be very proud of what they achieved in a challenging season,” said Ross Middleton.

“If you were a player lucky enough to win an award this season it really meant you deserved it because we had to keep working and fighting right until the end.

“I’m immensely proud of all the players that were involved and helped me through the season.

“The club were very kind in giving me recognition for my time at the club and I’ve loved every minute - but I haven’t retired from playing just yet, so we’ll see what happens this summer.

“I wish Tom (Bulley) and Darchy (Kevin Darch) all the best and hope they can build with the squad that are already there.”