The 2018 EFL Award winners have been announced, after a star-studded Sunday night in London.
Sky Bet Player of the Season
Ryan Sessegnon, Bradley Dack and Billy Kee have been named the Sky Bet Players of the Season for their respective divisions at tonight’s 2018 EFL Awards.
All three have been central to Fulham’s, Blackburn Rovers’ and Accrington Stanley’s push for promotion, contributing a total of 52 goals and 21 assists between them in League action.
Sessegnon said: “It’s an honour to win all the awards I have done tonight. I think I have to credit the manager and my fellow players, because the style of football we try and play helps us all express ourselves and that’s been a big factor in what we’ve achieved so far this season.
“It’s nice to win both the Apprentice of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season. Ever since Fulham gave me my debut I’ve wanted to improve and get better day-by-day, so I’m really happy with the team and my performances at the moment.”
Dack said: “I’m absolutely delighted, it is a huge honour to win this award, but I couldn’t have done it without all the staff, the players and generally everybody at the Club.
“I think I struggled a little at the start with a new niggling injuries, but since I’ve got onto the pitch regularly again I’ve felt good and the team have performed really well. We’ve found a bit of form, both myself and the team, and it has took off from there.”
John Coleman, collecting on Kee's behalf, said: “Billy has been fantastic for us this season and a real asset to the squad we have assembled here. He is a good lad and the goals he has continually scored this season has proved his quality.”
EA Sports Young Player of the Season
Ryan Sessegnon has been named the EA Sports Young Player of the Season at tonight’s 2018 EFL Awards.
The 17-year-old beat off competition from Norwich City’s James Maddison and Wolves’ Ruben Neves to collect the honour after a stellar season for the promotion chasing Cottagers.
Mitre Goal of the Year
Olly Lee has won the Mitre Goal of the Season at tonight’s 2018 EFL Awards.
The Luton Town midfielder’s memorable strike against Cambridge United – where he struck the ball from deep in his own half and over the ‘keepers head - claimed him the award, voted for on the night by those in attendance.
Olly said: “I’m delighted to win the award – it is not often you get the chance to win a goal of the season award, and not many people do it, so it’s fantastic for me.
“It is an instinctive goal, one you may not score most of the time, but I caught it well and luckily it went in else some of my teammates might have said a few words being in a better position!”
Football Manager Team of the Season
The overall Football Manager Team of the Season for across the EFL has been announced at tonight’s 2018 EFL Awards.
The XI features six players from the Sky Bet Championship, three from Sky Bet League One, two from Sky Bet League Two, with John Coleman of Accrington Stanley managing the side.
Sir Tom Finney Award
Former Southampton and Bristol Rovers striker Rickie Lambert has received the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award at tonight’s 2018 EFL Awards.
The Sir Tom Finney Award is presented to a player who has had an exceptional career in the EFL and epitomises the man after which this award is named. This special award gives the EFL the opportunity to recognise players who, like Sir Tom before them, have set standards for others to aspire to and reached the end of a truly outstanding playing career.
Playing for nine clubs and scoring more than 215 goals in over 600 games, Rickie Lambert played and scored in every division in English professional football; winning three promotions and personal accolades in a hugely successful 18-year career.
Lambert said: “I’m very proud and honoured to be associated with Sir Tom Finney and the career he had. Just listening to John Motson earlier about how Bill Shankly thought about him makes me so proud to achieve this tonight.
“At one point earlier in my career it got to the point where I was struggling for a contract, for a wage. It made me stronger as a person and looking back it was those set-backs that helped me progress eventually – It is still all a bit surreal to be winning this award.”
Contribution to League Football
John Motson has been recognised with the Contribution to League Football Award at the 2018 EFL Awards.
The Award is the EFL’s most prestigious award and is presented annually by the Board of the EFL to an individual who has given a lifetime’s service to the professional game on and off the pitch.
Motty has been an English football commentator since 1971. He has been ever present in football throughout the years, commentating on over 2,000 football matches across the league and its competitions. His fifty year career has seen him witness some of the biggest moments in football history.
Motson said: “I was a Football League commentator when I started in 1971 and I’ve always been an admirer of how the league has stuck together over the years. To get this award was a huge surprise to me – I didn’t realise it was going to be the first award tonight or that there would be so many nice words spoken.
“I am really grateful – It has been a great privilege and a great thrill to do what I’ve done. I’ve had some celebrations this season because it is the last one before I retire, but I have to say this EFL Award tops the lot.”