The Winner Takes It All...
Call me Mr.Grumpy but I have always been a bit of a cynic when it comes to Awards Nights, not really sure why, but it might be that I have never really won anything of any merit in my lifetime, except I suppose for the 1985 Miss Moore School Prize to reward 'hard work and effort` or in other words 'The Bit of a Trier` award.
However, this was an awards evening with a difference for me, as it is exactly hard work and loads of effort which has now culminated in the Clarets securing a play-off place by playing some of the best football seen at the Turf in years and therefore, making it possible for virtually any of the squad to scoop an award.
The other reason for liking this event, was that it was a 'Supporters Club` event which saw a whole host of associations from around the country making the journey to present their respective awards for this seasons endeavours, in what has so far been an incredible season (with more to come?).
The Sheffield Clarets were second up on stage to present the award for 'Moment of the Season`, not often we can say we have had many of these in previous years but we were spoilt for choice this time round.
The magic moment chosen by the Transpennine Oxymorons was for local lad and super sub, Jay Rodriguez, for coming 'off the bench and into the history books` by putting Burnley 3-0 up on the night v Spurs back on that night back in January 2009.
Its always satisfying to see some locally grown talent at the club and Jay has certainly played his part this season which augurs well for the future (to coin an Owen Coyle phrase) - lets hope he has some more in his locker for the play-offs.
Jay certainly got used to picking up awards throughout the night and on the whole he was joined by Blake, Jensen and Alexander.
I think it must have been a difficult decision for all the supporters to decide on who actually merited the awards based on the events of this season. Owen has always been consistent in enthusing about the team ethos and unit and this has been clearly demonstrated by the consistency we have seen, despite having one of the smallest squads in the Championship.
Back to the events of the night then.
Chris Eagles looked on hopefully that he would get an award of some sort but the 'Best Hairband` of the season wasn`t on the list!
The players and fans mingled all night, allowing for lots of autographs and photographs and there was a delicious serving of pie and peas (or 3 servings if you were Barnsey & Dale!)
There were some kind words for Owen from the Chief Exec (Paul Fletcher) followed by some stirring and inspirational words from the manager himself - 'when we get into the play-offs, we will go toe-to-toe with anyone` The standing ovation that followed for Owen & all the paying/coaching staff was richly deserved and still gives me goose-bumps just thinking about it.
A good night was had by all,the one personal highlight for me (& Dale) was to grab a photo (see above) with first team coach and Clarets legend, Steve Davis (he still doesn`t look any different does he?)
Let's hope that one of the centre-halves can match his run at Wembley in the Play-Off Final!
There is certainly a good feeling around the club at this moment and all credit goes to Owen Coyle for involving the fans more and ensuring 'we are all in it together`, I for one don`t want this season to end but when it does, lets hope its with a promotion to the promised land! UTC!John Sutcliffe