Stretford Paddock as a club have just completed their second season, showing growth and development in all areas as the club is beginning to go from strength to strength. This season the club further expanded into four teams: Firsts, Reserves, Development Squad and U21s. An impressive collective that received rightful accolades on awards night – players, coaches and staff alike.
Stephen Howson started this project with lofty ambitions, and it looks as though those aspirations are slowly coming to fruition. The hosting of the first Stretford Paddock Awards night is a definitive milestone and a chance to show appreciation for all of those involved who made the season what it was.
There were 16 awards given out on the night, rewarding stand out performances and commitment for all involved.
The first award given out was the club’s goal of the season which went to Mikey Burke for his ridiculous solo effort against Abacus Media, indicative of the attacking season he had, marauding runs from right-back that became a staple of his game. The second award on the night was clubman of the year, which went to Mark Dempsey for his outstanding commitment and attitude. He helped to keep the development squad afloat early on in the season, acting as the glue that kept everything together whilst also being a standout performer on the pitch. Performances that also earned him development player of the year and players player of the year on the night. The third award was a staff award the club’s coach of the year which went to Matt Ahern for his continual growth in coaching and the remarkable job he did this year with the reserves this past season. The next awards of note were the U21 player of the year which went to Jeanpierre Balagazi and players player of the year which went to Ethan Handley for their impressive performances throughout the season. Reserve player of the year and players player of the year went to Ben Pearson and goalkeeper Johnny Hart who has been a mainstay at the club since its creation in 2019.
Now onto the first team awards on the night, a squad that endured an exciting but eventually disappointing season as they narrowly missed out on title glory. Nonetheless, there were some exhilarating individual performances this season that deserved accolades on the night. The first of the awards was the Young Player of the Year which went to Bouba Jenkins who electrified the first team this season with his all action midfield play, showing decision making and composure well beyond his years. Fans player of the year went to Mikey Burke whose bits of individual brilliance made him a walking highlight-reel all season, a fan favourite and a household name. But in the end, unsurprisingly, Kieron Molloy walked away with Stretford Paddock’s Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year for his outstanding return this season with 20 goals and 6 assists this season in 26 games as he was the catalyst for everything great paddock did this season.
Last but not least Stephen Howson awarded Josh Smith and Ieuan Evans with a Paddock Medal as a show of gratitude for their dedication. The Paddock Medal is for players or staff who exemplified the Stretford Paddock ethos, which is a team above self attitude – Ieuan, who played for basically every squad and accumulated the most minutes of any player at the club last season, and Josh Smith, who travelled to training and games all the way from Wolverhampton playing with spirit and commitment which changed the whole aura of the squad this season.
It was a truly special night and a first of many as the club looks to advance its way up the footballing pyramid.
Full List of Award Winners;
Goal of the season – Mikey Burke
Clubman of the year – Mark Dempsey
Coach of the year – Matt Ahern
U21 player of the year – Jeanpierre Balagizi
U21 players player of the year – Ethan Handley
Development player of the year – Mark Dempsey
Development players player of the year – Mark Dempsey
Reserve player of the year – Ben Pearson
Reserve players player of the year – Johnny Hart
Young player of the year – Bouba Jenkins
Fans player of the year – Mikey Burke
Players player of the year – Omar Sinclair
The Paddock Medal – Josh Smith + Ieuan Evans
Stretford Paddock FC player of the year – Kieron Molloy