Ledson Wins Top Academy Prize
Joe Williams also recognised at Tuesday's Academy Awards.
Ryan Ledson scooped the big prize at Everton’s Academy Awards evening on Tuesday as he became the latest recipient of the prestigious Keith Tamlin award.
The accolade, named after the Club’s Vice-Life President, rewards a player for their excellence, attitude and application during their time spent in the Academy.
It is the second significant gong which Ledson has received this month after he was named the Academy Player of the Season at last Wednesday’s annual End of Season Awards evening.
Ledson’s personal prizes were in recognition of the fine season he has had for both the Club’s Under-18s and Under-21s teams.
Ledson, who has captained England Under-17s to victories over Malta and Turkey in the European Championships over the last week, was unable to collect his award in person at the BT Convention Centre due to his involvement in the tournament.
Under-18s coach Kevin Sheedy accepted the 16-year-old’s trophy instead and said: “Ryan has worked really hard this season. It’s been great to see him move up to the Under-21s and be in and around the first-team squad. He deserves this award.”
Ledson’s midfield teammate Joe Williams has also excelled during 2013/14 and he was honoured with the Under-18s Player of the Season award.
Williams, a first-year scholar, has helped the Under-18s reach the upcoming end-of-season league final against Manchester City, while also contributing regularly for Alan Stubbs’ Under-21s.
Meanwhile, Liam Walsh’s well-rehearsed strike for Everton Under-16s away at Manchester United saw the youngster leave with the Academy Goal of the Season award.
Player of the Season awards were distributed to one member of each age group in the Everton Academy, ranging from the Under-6s through to the Under-18s.
Every player in the Club’s youth setup also left with a pennant in recognition of their contributions over the course of 2013/14, which were presented by manager Roberto Martinez and Academy graduates Luke Garbutt and Matthew Pennington.
“Football is about developing individuals and we are very proud of what has been achieved in the Academy this season,” said Martinez when he was invited on stage.
“We want to make sure that our young players are given the best opportunity to become professional footballers and great people.”
Tuesday’s awards evening, which was attended by all staff affiliated with the Club’s youth setup, also saw Academy players who had represented their respective nations at junior level throughout the last season recognised.
Successes by the Club’s Academy teams competing in tournaments across Holland, Sweden, Belgium and Northern Ireland during 2013/14 were also acknowledged.
The event concluded with Academy Director Alan Irvine delivering a speech in which he thanked and congratulated the award winners and those who have supported the Academy over the past 12 months.