Ben Godfrey has been named the LFE Apprentice of the Year for League 2 at The Football League Awards 2016.The midfielder was recognised for his performances both on and off the pitch whilst playing for his boyhood club York City.
Godfrey, who joined Norwich City in January earlier this year, received the award at the gala ceremony at Manchester Central on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
The Football League Awards 2016 was being hosted in Manchester for the first time, the same city in which The Football League was officially formed 128 years ago to the day. In its 11th year, the awards ceremony celebrates on and off pitch excellence across The League’s 72 clubs.
Godfrey beat off competition from Luton Town’s Frankie Musonda and former Barnet defender Hakeem Odoffin - now at Wolverhampton Wanderers - to claim the overall LFE Apprentice of the Year for League 2 award.
Godfrey made his first team debut for the Minstermen as a 17-year-old in August 2015, and has since made 15 appearances in total, scoring once. His impressive form prompted interest from a host of clubs before the midfielder signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Norwich City on his 18th birthday.
Praised particularly for his attitude off the pitch, Godfrey looks to have the foundations in place to go on to a promising career as a professional footballer.
On winning the award, Godfrey said:
”It’s in my long list of proud moments this season and is a reward for all the people around me that have put in a lot of hard work, at both Norwich and York City.”
The award recognises the outstanding young professionals at League 2 clubs who excel both on and off the pitch. Players registered as a first or second-year scholar, or as a first-year professional, were eligible and judges took into account the record of the player in all competitions since he became an apprentice as well as his educational attainment, disciplinary record and any other outstanding achievements.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "During another action-packed Football League season it is important to acknowledge outstanding performances, both on and off the pitch.
Buzzing to of won the league 2 appr. player Of the year award! Thanks for all the messages been a Good year!⚽️🙌🏾— Ben Godfrey (@BenG0dfrey) April 17, 2016
“We’re delighted to recognise this special group of nominees who have shown exceptional levels of talent, dedication and achievement. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and particularly our winners, all of whom are deserving of their accolade.”
Other awards recognising players for their on pitch performances include the Sky Bet Players of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Mitre Goal of the Year and Football Manager Team of the Year awards, alongside the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award. Further awards were presented for off the field achievements by players and clubs, while the prestigious Contribution to League Football award recognised an individual’s lifetime commitment to the game.
All the news, reaction and photos from the awards can be found via The Football League’s Twitter page, @football_league, while the awards ceremony was also broadcast live on The Football League’s YouTube channel.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of award winners, visit www.FLAwards.com or search #FLAwards on Twitter.