Old Trafford, Manchester
Monday 14th May 2012 19:30 (GMT)
Last night was the night which usually ends the season on a high, but instead the atmosphere was rather subdued because of the events which happened on Sunday which resulted in United winning the league on the full time whistle in Sunderland, but 90 seconds later it was snatched away with 2 ‘Fergie time’ goals at the Etihad!!
The evening started with some player interviews, an interview with David Gill and another with Sir Alex Ferguson. We have been informed that this summer will see ‘some’ new faces in the squad next season, and that targets were being spoken to now. Who these targets are, time will tell. I remember the interview with Rio Ferdinand, who still looked and sounded gutted from the previous days results, but “you can’t win them all” and football “is a funny old game”.
The first award given was the Players Player of the Year; the winner……….
This award was voted for by all of the Manchester United first team squad. On receiving the award, Antonio said “It’s great that they’ve put their trust in me, I’m very pleased that I have their support.”
Sir Alex Ferguson then praised the award-winner, by telling the host of the awards, Jim Rosenthal: “The form he’s produced this season since coming back from injury has been amazing. He’s a great professional and he has the qualities we love in our game. I think that’s why the other players have given him this award.”
The second award of the evening was the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year; the winner……….
The Norweigan midfielder was nominated by the coaching staff at Manchester United’s Academy, after playing a central role in the young Reds run in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals and the Aegon Future Cup this season. 17 year old Daehli, follows last years winner, Ryan Tunnicliffe, and follows the like of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck in winning the award.
On receiving the award, Daehli said “I’m very proud and the season went very well for us, particularly in the Youth Cup” he also stated that “Everyone here has taken great care of me, I’ve settled in well and hopefully that will continue.”
The third award of the evening was the Denzil Haroun Player of the Year; the winner………
Michael Keane was named the Reserve Player of the Year after an impressive start to the season in the centre of Manchester United Reserves title winning defense. The 19 year old was voted by the fans, winning with 60% of the votes. In second place was Jesse Lingard with 24% of the votes, and third place went to Larnel Cole, who had 16% of the votes. All three players have a great future ahead of them with Manchester United.
On winning the award, Michael said “I was surprised but really pleased to win the award. It’s great to know that it’s been voted for by the fans, because they come to watch us and follow us throughout the season.” This season saw Michael get a senior team debut in the Carling Cup away at Aldershot, he said “It was incredible. Just to travel with the first team is special. But to get on the pitch is unbelievable. It’s something I and my family had dreamed of. Now I hope to go on the pre-season tour with the first team and if that goes well, then I might go on loan or stay here. It will be up to Sir Alex of course.”
The fourth award of the evening was the Goal of the Season; the winner………
Antonio Valencia’s late piledriver in the 2-0 win at Blackburn in April has been voted Goal of the Season by United fans around the world.
The winger broke the deadlock in the tense match at Ewood Park, with a powerful drive from a tight angle that flew across goal and past Rovers keeper Paul Robinson.
In a poll that was closer than it has been for the last couple of years, Valencia’s effort took 23% of the votes to beat Nani’s first goal in the Community Shield win over Man City (16%) into second place. It ended Wayne Rooney’s recent dominance of the award – the striker had scooped the accolade for the previous two seasons for goals against City, the memorable over-head kick and Arsenal.
The video below shows Antonio Valencia‘s award winning goal v Blackburn Rovers.
The fifth and final award of the evening was the Sir Matt Busby Fans Player of the Year; the winner………
Antonio Valencia completed a hat trick of awards when he became the next recipient of the Sir Matt Busby Fans Player of the Year award.
The Sir Matt Busby award has been presented to the supporters’ favourite star since 1988 when Brian McClair was the inaugural winner. Valencia is the eighth overseas player to win it, following Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andrei Kanchelskis, Javier Hernandez, Nemanja Vidic, Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo.
On receiving the award, Antonio said: “After last night, the longest night of my life, I will take heart from this. There should be 20 of these awards because all of my team-mates deserve one. I’d like to thank them and to thank my fans at home in Ecuador and Manchester United fans everywhere.”
Antonio Valencia had 37% of the votes, in second place was Wayne Rooney with 24% of the votes, and in third place was Paul Scholes with 12% of the votes. All votes were made via the Manchester United official website www.manutd.com, and were made during the month of April.
Antonio Valencia said via Twitter “I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be on a team as big as MU, and thank everyone who supported me.” he also said in another tweet, “I dedicated these awards to my family, and all Ecuadorians and especially to my Domenik.”
By Paul Bienkowski