Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Ingram has been named The Football League’s Young Player of the Month for September.The award covers players that play in all three divisions of the Sky Bet Football League.
The 20-year-old’s form has helped his club have an impressive start to the new season, with the Chairboys currently sitting at the top of Sky Bet League 2.
The club went through September unbeaten in The League, conceding just two goals in five matches. Out of all 72 Football League clubs, only Plymouth Argyle have conceded fewer goals than Wycombe Wanderers this season.
Wycombe-born Ingram made his debut for his hometown club in March 2013, having joined the club as a 12-year-old, and progressed through their youth ranks. Since making his debut he has been an ever-present in the team, going on to make 77 consecutive appearances.
On receiving the award, Ingram said: "The award was a great surprise. I didn't know anything about it until before training on Thursday. We came up for a team meeting and the gaffer said 'Matty's won this award'.
"Credit it to the defenders in front of me. They've stayed consistent all season and I think that's contributed to our defensive record. We've had the same back five since pre-season. We're a tight-knit group and hopefully it will continue."
Wycombe Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth added: "He deserves it. He's come in and is really making himself the number one. Some of his performances have been outstanding.
"He's a big lad who will come for crosses but has a knack of getting down and saving as well. What a level-headed character as well, he's really humble."
Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £60m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent.
There are 8,500 young players between the ages of 8 and 18 registered with League clubs, making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football. Over 200 players aged 21 or under make their professional debuts for Football League clubs each season.
Commenting on this month’s recipient, David Wetherall, Head of Youth Development at The Football League, said: “It is not often you see goalkeepers recognised with awards like this but Matt thoroughly deserves it because his consistency has been a key factor in Wycombe’s excellent start to the season. To have such a run of consecutive appearances to his name at such a young age is testament to his ability and potential”.
Each month the accolade is awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21. Currently around a quarter of all players registered with Football League clubs are eligible to be considered for this award.
Click here to read BBC Sport's interview with Matt Ingram