This year the Portslade players gathered at the ideally named Gather Inn, formally known as the Blue Lagoon, for this years end of Season PAFC Awards evening.
With wholesale changes across the board at the start of the season, which included a change in chairman, a conversely welcome sight of Paul Norris and Matt Hornsby returning to first and second team manager duties respectively, it was certainly a season in transition. Despite a bright start by both teams, the club suffered as playing numbers dwindled as results quickly followed suit. But as the old saying goes, the show must go on. With an irrepressible spirit, the club members joined together to put footballing matter to one side, have a beer together, and ultimately enjoy an evening in good company.
This season, irrespective of matters on the pitch, the club was able to celebrate a brand spanking new trophy, donated by Trevor Paine's late father, the Presidents Cup, replacing the much coveted Players Player Award. This year, after a pretty one sided vote, Dan Rahaman took home his first major trophy in his first full season, which well reflected the attitude applied in each and every appearance (of which he collected most in the club).
Another much coveted trophy, the longstanding Smith Trophy, a trophy awarded to the best newcomer or most improved, was won by everyone's favourite utility man, Ben Graves. It was very much like enjoying a brand new signing, duly re-invented himself as a goalkeeper, Ben not only taking to the new role seamlessly, but showing a positive and determined attitude throughout.
This seasons managers award was handed to the John Boddy, not only because of his positive attitude on and off the pitch this season, having to overcome persistent knee injuries, but for the consistent commitment to the club spanning several years. Top scoring plaudits this season were split between Liam Reyland and Andre Neto. Liam over the years re-invented himself to be an effective wing back, but when his opportunity came to grab the number 9 shirt, scoring 7 in the final 10 games. Not to be completely outdone, Andre himself managed to creep into double figures with 8 goals with the reserves (which included 4 in one game), but 3 goals from 7 substitute appearances for the first team.
Finally, and by no means least, the Clubman award, which was presented to a real club favourite, and arguably the loudest cheer of the night, Mark Sanders. Joining at the start of the season, not immediately finding himself in the match day squad, stuck to his guns, was enthusiastic in training, and always on hand to give a helping hand. I don't think I stand alone when I saw that it was pleasing to see Mark not only get the opportunity to represent the club in a reserve shirt, but eventually to get 5 first team starts. A testament to everything which we want to see at this club. Oh and the tape provision did not go unnoticed either!
Smith Cup: Ben Graves
Updated 19:28 - 6 Jun 2018 by Rob Ingham
Clubman Award: Mark Sanders
Presidents Cup: Dan Rahaman
Manager's player: John Boddy
First Team Golden Boot: Liam Reyland (8)
Club Golden Boot: Andre Neto (11)