Ladies, Reserve & Academy Players of the Season
Alan Stubbs paid tribute to ‘a more mature’ Jose Baxter after watching the 19-year-old pick up Reserve Player of the Season at the Club’s 6th Annual End of Season Awards.
Baxter finished the campaign as the second string’s top scorer with five goals but reserve team boss Stubbs said it was his attitude that stood him apart.
The former Blues defender said: “Jose has always been a very technically gifted player but it was about adding other things to his game to keep improving.
“And the most pleasing thing is that his attitude has got better and his work rate and desire have been excellent. For me he has been our most consistent performer and he has matured both as a player and as a person.”
Meanwhile, Jake Bidwell, captain of the Club’s successful Under-18s side, was named Academy Player of the Season.
Defender Bidwell skippered the side to the National Academy League title, and it was a combination of his leadership, attitude and ability that earned him the prize.
Academy boss Ray Hall said: “Jake loves playing for this Club and that is shown by how he reacts when the team loses. He has so much desire and is determined to make the most of his ability. He thoroughly deserves the award.”
The Ladies Player of the Season Award went to striker Natasha Dowie, who has been at the forefront of a successful 12 months for Mo Marley’s team.
Dowie, of course, struck a memorable extra-time winner in last season’s FA Cup final win over Arsenal, while her goals were crucial in the Blues’ march to the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League.
The award was voted for by the players but Marley said Dowie was a worthy winner.
“The big thing for Tash is that in the past 12 months she has been extremely consistent,” said Marley. “She has always been a good player – that has never been in doubt – but the difference is that she has stepped up and done it in the big games.
“Her work rate has also gone up and I think the players recognise that. The award was voted for by the girls but I would have picked her too, had it been a manager’s award.”
The Reserve Team Player of the Season Award was sponsored by Rippleffect.
The Academy Player of the Year Award was sponsored by Prozone Sports.
The Ladies Player of the Year Award was sponsored by JFK.
For full coverage and plenty of reaction from tonight's awards. click here.