The Hoops held their end –of-season “presentation evening” on Friday but, like so much else at the moment, it took place in unusual circumstances.
Because a clubhouse gathering was not possible assistant-manager Steve King instead set up an online “virtual” presentation evening involving various players, board members and volunteers, and it was particularly pleasing to see manager Derek Hares taking part as he continues his recovery from two recent major operations.
“Del”, who chose midfielder Ben Chapman as his “Manager’s Player of the Year”, thanked everyone for all the messages of support he had received and said that “the incredible penalty shootout win at Binfield in the FA Vase had provided one of the highlights of my managerial career”.
The same sentiments were echoed by “Kingy” who said: “Three of our Vase matches provided the highlights of the season for me: the home tie against Binfield in front of over 500 people at the Charles Ground, the penalty shootout win in the replay, and then the trip to Consett where we received such warm appreciation and respect in defeat from the home supporters.”
“Kingy”, who said that some of the squad had already reported back for pre-season training, then revealed the names of two more award winners. Goalkeeper James Tonkin, who missed only one match all season, received the “Players’ Player of the Year” trophy while “Chappo” picked up his second award after finishing “Top Goal Scorer” with 13 goals.
The final award of the night was made by chairman Dave Chmura, who presented the “Clubman of the Year” to one of the Hoops’ volunteers, Derick Russell, and Dave then added: “Getting through to the last 16 of the FA Vase this season, and the exciting way in which we did it, provided everyone at the club with some fantastic memories which I’m sure will live on for many years to come.”