Redmond Cleans Up At The Player Of The Year Awards
Wednesday, 8th May 2019 09:09
A year ago Nathan Redmond's Saints career looked to be nearing it's end, how things have changed in 12 months as he dominated the club's player of the year awards evening.
This time last year Nathan Redmond had perhaps endured the worst season of his career, he had started only 22 of 38 Premier League games and although he had played another 9 off the bench, he was under fire from the fans and there seemed to be no real future for him at St Mary's .
The one bright spot for him was his solitary goal of the season when he came off the bench at Goodison Park and scored his solitary goal of the season, although as we know it didn't quite win the game it was vital in giving Saints impetus to go into a do or die game at Swansea a few days later.
But for Redmond the celebrations for staying up wee probably muted, he was probably joined by both James Ward Prowse and Shane Long two others sat with him on that bench on Merseyside who thought their St Mary's career's had just about run their course but have thrived this season.
It would have been easy for Redmond to have got on the phone to his agent and leave the club, his confidence was in tatters and he was and even when playing well had never been the flavour of the month with that section of the Saints support that always has to have a scapegoat.
But he didn't do that whether Mark Hughes had any part in Redmond's revival we perhaps shall never know, but it seems the player sat down took a long hard look at himself and decided that he was not going to throw away his career without giving it a go.
Although Ralph Hasenhuttl has made a big difference to his play, the truth is that Nathan Redmond came back at the start of this season a different man, his attitude had changed, he was no longer afraid, he played his natural game and didn't worry if he made the odd poor pass or missed the target, it was as if we had signed a new player.
That has now been recognised and he picked up the awards for player of the season both from his team mates who voted him players player of the year but most importantly of all, the supporters where he was voted the Virgin Media Fans’ Player of the Season.
A delighted Redmond said at the awards ceremony at St Mary's last night:
"I know I've not been the easiest to watch in the last couple of years, but the boys in the dressing room, the manager and the coaching staff have enabled me to play with confidence and affect games in a positive way."
Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl added:
"I think Reddy is one of the guys who has improved and he knows he can be the special one to make a difference in games. I see the passion in his eyes and that's exactly what we need to make the next step."
Elsewhere, First-Team Young Player of the Year went to Yan Valery, having established himself as a regular starter under Hasenhuttl in his maiden campaign, who also picked up Goal of the Season for his memorable long-range strike that flew in at Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Terry Paine’s President’s Choice Award, honouring a standout team player who has made great strides in his own game, went to James Ward-Prowse, whose energy and goalscoring prowess from midfield earned the 24-year-old an England recall.
Academy Player of the Year went to Will Ferry, who has contributed heavily at both Under-18 and Under-23 level in a season when five Staplewood graduates earned first-team debuts, thus showing that the youth system at Southampton is far from failing.
18 year old Ferry who joined the academy from Bury for a six figure fee in the summer of 2017 is perhaps one of several in the academy ranks who will be looking to emulate the five who made their debuts this term.
The achievements of Southampton FC Women, who enjoyed a perfect league season en route to promotion from the Southern Region Premier Division, were celebrated as Shannon Sievwright won Women’s Player of the Year, while Caitlin Smith picked up the Girls’ Regional Talent Club Player of the Year accolade.
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