April 18 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 18, 2012
Stuart Wall walked away with the club’s players’ player of the season award and the manager’s trophy – and he also wins my player of the season prize too.
The man is an absolute unsung hero. He’s never less than eight out of 10. He looks after himself so well, is very professional, and he’s one of those lads you’d want in your starting XI whether he was playing at centre-half or up front.
In my eyes Pedro (Alex Street) was a close second, but it was no surprise Stuart won the players’ award. He’s Mr Consistent and has been fantastic. As a centre-back partner he is calm, collected and we work well together. When we’ve had a run in the side I think you can see we complement each other as a pair.
I’m the aggressive one who likes to organise and he just gets on with his job with no fuss. He’s had luck by staying injury free, but he just gives the same level of performance every week, no matter who we’re playing or who he’s up against.
He’s scored a few times for us this season, but in my eyes there’s only one winner of my goal of the season award and that’s Luke Thurlbourne.
Player of the season: Stuart Wall
Goal of season: Luke Thurlbourne v Cogenhoe
Best game: 5-1 win at Deeping Rangers
Best away ground: Yaxley
Best opposition player: Long Buckby’s Russell Dunkley
Worst moment: Getting injured at Gresley
Worst banter: Ashley Deeney
Best banter: Matthew Hails
Best youngster: Ryan Fryatt
Best moment: Robbie Harris’ goal v PNS
He scored two screamers in the same night (5-1 home league win over Cogenhoe United) but his second was the pick of the two. The ball came across his body, from his weak side, and he just pinged it straight into the top bin.
It was a great, great goal and no keeper could have saved it. His little celebration always tops his goals off too. We’ve scored some great goals this season, but the only other one that I thought pushed him close was Danny Beaumont’s at Deeping Rangers. He tucked in from the left and hit it from about 35 yards. It just flew in.
I would have given the award to myself, for my goal against Peterborough Northern Star in the League Cup, because I don’t score many like that. But the lads would have grilled me so I’m happy for Luke to take the honour.
My next prize goes to my game of the season. The winner of that is our 5-1 win at Deeping Rangers in October. In my eyes it’s the best football we played for a full 90 minutes. We were unstoppable all over the pitch, as a unit, and we showed our full potential that night.
St Ives Town at home was pretty close, as was the FA Cup win at The Walks against Stratford Town. I put the latter down to the magic of the competition though and the atmosphere a late goal creates.
The atmosphere, and playing at The Walks is always a treat. No other ground in the United Counties League compares. However, my award for best away ground visited goes to Yaxley.
It’s not bad, is well kept, pretty new and is developing. It doesn’t even come close to our stadium though.
We’ve got the huge stand and outstanding facilities. It’s good enough for three or four levels up and even if it wasn’t full of about 700 supporters a week it would still be the best in the league.
You appreciate every club you visit and every side you come up against. However, some players stand out. So my award for best opposition player goes to Long Buckby’s Russell Dunkley.
Stats don’t lie. He’s big, strong and brings people into play because he holds the ball up and then lays it off. He’s their Jack Defty.
He’s a massive threat in both boxes and is a real handful to play against. I’d say after him AFC Kempston Rovers’ Danny Watson stood out because he’s not a bad little player. Elsewhere, looking at those who play in my position, I’ve also admired Holbeach United’s Jamie Stevens and St Ives’ Will Fordham.
My next award goes to another centre-back, this time Ryan Fryatt, who wins my best youngster prize. In a few years he will be the best defender in Norfolk. If he keeps showing the right attitude he’s going to have a really good career because he’s got so much potential.
"I’d like to thank the gaffer, Neil Fryatt, Ross McNeil, the chairman and his wife for all their work this season. I’ll never forget the memories.
The lads have also been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough for accepting me as captain and supporting me this season.
Finally, I’d like to thank the fans and all those who have read my column and given me feedback on Twitter. I’ve really enjoyed doing it.
Have a good summer. I really hope to see you all again next season."
Ryan would walk into any club at this level – or the one above – because he’s that good already. He is only going to get better if he stays on the rails, keeps working hard, and continues to conduct himself in such a fantastic way.
Little Gino Livoti is an exciting lad to watch and I’ve also got a lot of time for Wardy (Chris Ward) who has impressed when he’s been with us a few times. Those two, plus Ryan, are worth keeping an eye on.
It’s really nice to have the youngsters about, even if they can be a bit quiet. They take their fair share of stick, but there’s only one player in our dressing room who deserves the award for worst banter. That is Ashley Deeney.
He’s an absolute top lad, but he’s not the brightest and his banter is about two minutes behind everyone else’s. He loves a tan too so he gets leathered for that. But credit to him, he gives it and he takes it on the chin. It’s all fun and Ash is a massive figure of fun in the group.
Ash just beats Neil Fryatt to the award, which takes some doing, as Neil’s the most serious man I’ve ever met. He’s a tremendous professional, but we always say he needs to let his hair down a bit – it’s just a shame he hasn’t got any!
Stick flies around in the dressing room and it’s part of football. We all love it. But the best banter prize definitely belongs in the hands of Matthew Hails. He’s a walking comedian. He’s so sharp – an absolute one-line wonder. He just kills people on the spot.
Hughesy (Rob Hughes) will be disappointed because he’s a funny guy and he’s certainly up there. But unfortunately for Rhydian (Roberts, X-Factor singer), or Tintin as he is now known thanks to comedian Russ Williams, Matty’s just pipped him.
It’s been a long season – full of lots of laughs and highs. But my worst moment, individually at least, was getting injured at Gresley in the FA Vase. I was out with an ankle ligament injury for 14 weeks, the longest I’ve ever been sidelined for.
I kept coming in and cheering the boys on, but you feel like a lost chicken as you don’t feel needed. It was horrible. The only feeling that came close to it, and this was collectively, was after our 2-1 defeat at Buckby.
To lose two games against your closest challengers is hard to take. At 1-0 we just needed to take that final step and finish them off and we didn’t. To be fair I think we never recovered from it.
You never forget the bad times, like you’ll always remember the good times. So to end on a high – my best moment of the season award goes to Robbie Harris’ goal against PNS (see video).
It was like the 97th minute and the sheer pressure just made it one of those things you’ll never forget. The celebrations, adrenaline and atmosphere after his goal was incredible.
You try and keep calm, but it all comes out at moments like that. I lost it, but who didn’t? I just knew Robbie was getting it even if their full-back had to come with me!
• Ross’ weekly column has now ended for the season. You can follow Ross on Twitter, or read his previous columns, by clicking on the links on the right-hand side of this page.
• Video footage provided by King’s Lynn Town.