FOOTBALL

Ryan Sessegnon: Fulham teenage sensation dominates EFL Awards

Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon was named Championship Player of the Season at the 2018 EFL Awards on a night he won a total of five gongs.

Sessegnon has enjoyed a stunning season at Craven Cottage, scoring 14 goals and assisting six times in 42 league games. Sessegnon secured the main award of the evening at the Hilton Park Lane in central London on Sunday, beating the likes of Fulham team-mate Tom Cairney and Wolves’ Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves to the prestigious award.

The season isn’t finished yet for the 17-year-old either, where he could still help his side secure promotion to the Premier League. Slavisa Jokanovic’s side are currently on a club-record 21-game unbeaten run and sit one point behind second-placed Cardiff City with just three games remaining.

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In addition to being voted as the Championship Player of the Year, Sessegnon was also awarded EA Sports Young Player of the Season, LFE Championship Apprentice of the Year. Additionally, the left winger was named in the Football Manager EFL Team of the Season.

This comes a day after Sessegnon become the first player in the Championship ever to be nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award alongside the likes of Leroy Sane, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane.

In League One, Bradley Dack saw off tough competition of Wigan Athletic’s Nick Powell and Peterborough United Jack Marriott to be crowned League One’s Player of the Year.

The midfielder has excelled during his debut season at Ewood Park, scoring 16 goals as Tony Mowbray’s side look set to secure a return to the Championship at the first time of asking. This is the second time the 24-year-old has won the award, having won it back in 2015/16 with Gillingham.

The League Two Player of the Season went to Accrington Stanley striker Billy Kee.

The 27-year-old has scored 23 league goals this season, which is, incidentally, more than any other player in England’s fourth tier. Kee’s goals has put John Coleman’s side on the verge of promotion to League One for the first time in their history, despite a 1-1 draw with promotion rivals Exeter City on Saturday.

Coleman was recognised for the achievement by being selected as the manager for the EFL Team of the Year.

Luton Town’s Olly Lee won Goal of the Season for his 65 yard strike in the 7-0 win against Cambridge United in November. The most incredible thing about the strike was that Lee scored over different postcodes. The effort left his boot in the Oak End [LU4] and finished in the Kenny End [LU1] of Kenilworth Road where it hit the back of the net.

In other awards, Veteran BBC football commentator John Motson was honoured with the Contribution to League Football Award.

The night’s most prestigious award recognised his lifetime service to the professional game. Motson commentated on his last match for Radio 5 Live in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Watford earlier this month. However, Motson will continue to provide commentary for Match of the Day until the conclusion of the season in May.

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Furthermore, former England striker Rickie Lambert was the recipient of the Sir Tom Finney Award, an accolade that is presented to a player who has had an exceptional career in the EFL.

The 36-year-old, who retired earlier this season, scored 218 goals in over 600 games across a 19-year career that saw him feature for the likes of Bristol Rovers, Southampton, Liverpool and Cardiff City.

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EFL Awards Summary

Championship Player of the Year – Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)

Championship Apprenticeship of the Year  Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)

League One Player of the Year – Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers)

League One Apprenticeship of the Year – Anthony Hartigan (AFC Wimbledon)

League Two Player of the Year – Billy Kee (Accrington Stanley)

League Two Apprenticeship of the Year – Ben Wilmot (Stevenage)

Community Club of the Year – Derby County

Sir Tom Kinney Award – Rickie Lambert

Contribution to Football League Award – John Motson

PFA Player in the Community – Joe Bryan

Family Club of the Year – Blackburn Rovers

Supporter of the Year – Mustafa El-Bayati (Northampton Town)

EFL Team of the Year:

John Ruddy (Wolves), Nathan Byrne (Wigan Athletic), Conor Coady (Wolves), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), James Maddison (Norwich City), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers), Bobby Reid (Bristol City), Billy Kee (Accrington Stanley), Adebayo Akinfenwa (Wycombe Wanderers).

Manager: John Coleman (Accrington Stanley).

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