Stokes wins Players’ Player at LC Phoenix’s presentation evening

By The Post in Football

LC PHOENIX Football Club held their annual presentation evening at the White Hart Hotel, Launceston on Friday, June 2.

The 2016/17 season was a great first season for Phoenix in the Duchy Premier division, and they were unfortunate not to finish higher than their final league position showed, having occupied top spot for much of the campaign.

Finishing fourth on goal-difference, level on points with Torpoint Athletic, they showed that they were now in the division that they belonged after rising from Duchy Five to the Duchy Premier in seven seasons.

They celebrated their achievements at their annual presentation night at the White Hart Hotel, Launceston.

After a fine meal, player/manager Ryan Cox thanked everyone for their hard work throughout the season and presented the awards.

Kevin Hatch picked up the shield for ‘Top Goalscorer’, having scored six goals in one game against Pelynt FC along the way. He started the season as a striker but ended up playing a lot of games in midfield due to injuries and suspensions; he would have without doubt enhanced his final tally of 16 had he stayed in a more advanced role.

The ‘Most Improved Player’ trophy was added to the Phoenix awards for the first time last season due to the overall ethos of the club – to help young footballers with the transition from youth to adult football. This year was no different and the club added a number of young players that have now developed into fine footballers in the men’s game, none more so than this year’s winner of the most improved accolade, Josh Chalk.

Cox said: “Josh is a young goalkeeper that started off the season a little tentatively when it came to controlling his defence and dealing with the physical aspect of the game. But once he got his footing he’s really come into his own and his talent shone through. The best thing about it, is that he’s going to keep improving year on year and by playing for Phoenix he’s getting the valuable game time all young footballers need to develop, something that they don’t always get at other clubs in the area.”

The Manager’s Player was awarded to another newcomer to the Phoenix setup, Lewis Halliday, and similarly to Josh he has come on leaps and bounds from his opening couple of games. Cox said: “He’s got all the attributes to make a brilliant footballer; pace, height, strength, good with the ball at his feet and cool in front of goal. If it wasn’t for a bad ankle injury in the second half of the season, I’m sure he would have contributed enough to ensure we finished higher up the league table.”

The final award of the night was the much-coveted ‘Players’ Player’ trophy. The votes were close with just one vote separating the winner and runner-up, as well as a point separating second and third – all of whom would have been worthy winners. However, this year the trophy went to centre-half Bradley Stokes.

Cox said: “Brad has been immense again this season, solid at the back whilst contributing in the goals department too. Like Lewis he picked up a bad ankle injury that kept him out for quite a few games in the second half of the season, so here’s hoping all the boys stay fit next season and that our bad luck with injuries is over.”

LC Phoenix extended their thanks with flowers and chocolates at the end of the presentation to the hard-working staff of the White Hart Hotel, their main sponsor, for providing excellent food and service after all home fixtures.

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