A 2018 to remember for striker Gav King got even better today as NCEL magazine The Bootiful Game announced he had been voted their Division One Player of the Year for 2018 by the leagues managers.
Gav ended the 2017-2018 season as our top goalscorer with 29 goals in 46 appearances and as a result claimed several awards at our end of season presentation including Supporter's Player and Player's Player.
The prolific forward carried last season's form into the new season and in October, he reached 50 goals for the club with a brace away at Swallownest.
Gav ended 2019 with a 4 minute hat-trick away at Emley which means he sits atop the Division One goalscoring chart with 24 goals in his 24 games so far this season.
Those goals took him to a total of 40 goals in 2018 for the club and nobody can question that he is a deserved winner of the award. To score that many goals for any team is a fantastic achievement but to do so for a team in the bottom half of the table, who has to fight against relegation every season is exceptional.
After Gav's success was announced, we spoke to The Bootiful Game's editor Craig Kendall who had this to say:
"Gavin has been a formidable striker in the last 12 months and has obviously caught the eye of several managers throughout 2018 and therefore received the most votes.
It does show that you don't need to be at the top end of the table to win an award. If you put in the hard work at whatever level, you can reap the rewards. Well done Gav!"
We also spoke to manager Dave Winter, a man who has witnessed Gav's 2018 first hand and he was full of praise for his centre forward:
"This is a great accolade for Gav and a great personal achievement. I have managed hundreds of players over the last 20 years and Gav is right up there as one of the best – he is a manager's dream.
He has had lots of positives written about him over the last couple of seasons but one thing that doesn’t get spoke about though is his personality and the type of person he is which for me is as important as how good a player he is. He leads by example at all times on and off the pitch. He very rarely misses a match (3 in 2 seasons!!), manages to run a very successful business and genuinely has time for his team mates and along with our skipper he is the first to welcome and look after any of the new lads or any younger lads that come in.
Gav is coming into his prime right now and there are not many clubs left in the NCEL or the local area that haven’t approached him or enquired about his services – luckily for us he is a grounded person who clearly puts other things in life in front of a few extra quid. He knows the club are moving in the right direction albeit slowly but he wants to be part of that and help progress the club."
Finally, we spoke to the man himself who refused to take himself too seriously with a self-deprecating take on it all:
"So pleased to win what is the NCEL's equivalent of the Ballon D'or. I'm so glad my laziness and pulling out of tackles has been rewarded."
Updated 16:35 - 3 Jan 2019 by Liam Kent