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Bizarre choice of winner for 2020 North East Player Of The Year award

5 months ago
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The winner of the 2020 North East player of the year award has been revealed

This is an award voted for by the football writers in the region.

Recent winners have included Martin Dubravka who picked up the 2018 award, then a year ago it was Fabian Schar who picked up the North East Player Of The Year Award for 2019.

The timing of the presentation of the award (normally presented at an awards ceremony in February) halfway through a season is a little unusual and whilst it is announced for a year, it does appear that in reality the award is given based on the previous full season.

So, this latest 2020 award is for the North East Player Of The Year for the 2019/20 season, rather than the second half of that one and the first part of this current 2020/21 one.

So, based on that information, who would you guess the football writers have named as their 2020 North East Player Of The Year (for the 2019/20 season)?

Well, I could give you dozens of guesses and I doubt very much you would get even close.

The latest winner is…Jonny Howson.

After checking up, apparently he is a 32 year old midfielder, who also turned out in defence last season, and helped save Middlesbrough from relegation to the third tier. They ended up seventeenth in the Championship, five points clear of the drop.

Now I’m not somebody who would claim that this award should automatically go to a Newcastle player because NUFC were the only Premier League club last season….BUT this does seem a very bizarre choice of winner for the 2020 North East Player Of The Year award.

If say Newcastle United had been relegated or if there simply weren’t any NUFC players who particularly stood out, then fine.

However, I would say at least four Newcastle United players should have got the award ahead of Jonny Howson, for their achievements at a higher level.

Martin Dubravka was not just very good for Newcastle last season, he was generally acknowledged as one of the very best in the Premier League, he should surely have automatically won the 2020 award, to go with his 2018 one.

Failing that, I would say Allan Saint-Maximin, Isaac Hayden and Federico Fernandez were all also more valid candidates than the Middlesbrough man (even if the award was purely for matches in 2020, then likes of Hayden and Fernandez would 100% deserve the award ahead of anybody from the other North East clubs).

As well as the main award, Middlesbrough also picked up the young player award, 21 year old Marcus Tavernier the winner, Tavernier born in Newcastle and originally in the NUFC youth system.

Beth Hepple the winner of the Women’s Player of the Year award, she plays for Durham.

The awards are usually presented at the Ramside Hall Hotel this month but that ceremony has been postponed until later in the year when the football writers hope that it can be held.

Martin Dubravka speaking to Sky Sports after winning the 2018 North East Player Of The Year award:

“It is amazing.

“I couldn’t believe it.

“I got the message that I won this trophy and I couldn’t believe that, because I spent an amazing year here, but it is the first year, you know.

“It is an honour for me to be part of this great history and I know that fantastic players won this trophy before me, so I am very pleased with that.

“Yes, I have to say that [I feel at home in Newcastle].

“Everybody was very friendly to me here since I came and helped me in all cases.

“So every week, coming home from games, from travelling around, I feel like I deserve to be here.”

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