With the 2020-21 season officially in the books, Everton have now announced all the annual awards for all their teams, the Men’s, Women’s and the Academy system.
The coveted prizes for the Club’s Men’s Player of the Season (as voted for by the fans) and the Players’ Player of the Season were both nabbed by striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who had a breakthrough season. The forward ended up with 21 goals this season in 39 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, and added four England goals in seven games.
Speaking at the awards ceremony held during training hours at Finch Farm before the last game of the season on Sunday, manager Carlo Ancelotti announced the two prizes -
“Dominic is a complete striker: tall, good with the head and fast and strong. This season, he arrived at the top. The difficulty is to stay there.
“You have to be stronger and more focused and more concentrated. He has everything to stay at the top for a long time.”
In turn, the 24-year-old thanked Ancelotti for keeping faith in him.
“I am very proud to receive this award. I have worked very hard to get into this position so it is nice to have that recognition.
“When the manager came to the Club, he put his confidence in me to keep performing and didn’t give me too much to think about apart from being in the box and scoring goals.
“I have belief in what we are trying to achieve and in the ability in our squad and we can go on to achieve great things.”
While he might have been overshadowed in name by Everton’s more illustrious signings last summer, Ben Godfrey has quickly made a name for himself with his no-nonsense tackling and lung-bursting runs up and down the pitch from his spot in the backline. The 23-year-old has also been named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad for this summer’s European Championships, and was presented the Men’s Young Player of the Season award by Director of Football Marcel Brands.
“Ben had a huge impact from the day he arrived. He showed good character and good quality in all positions and is a great lad.”
The soft-spoken youngster refused to rest on his laurels and added -
“It is an honour to win Young Player of the Season… [now] there is plenty more learning and hard work to do.”
The Blues scored some very important goals this season as they went about ending a number of unfortunate streaks, including away wins at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Arsenal among them. Richarlison’s early goal to give the Blues a lead they never relinquished at Anfield was named the Everton Goal of the Season.
While the Brazilian did not have the wild success from last season in terms of goals scored, he was pleased to have picked up an award.
“It was a very special goal because of how long we’d gone without winning at Anfield.
“This [award] was one of my aims for the season and, although I know I could have achieved more, I’m really happy with the confidence you’ve shown in me by voting for me for goal of the season.”
The Everton Women had a very good season as they made big strides from the previous campaign under manager Willie Kirk, ending in fifth place in the Women’s Super League (FA WSL), the highest they have finished since 2013. Midfielder Izzy Christiansen was awarded the Women’s Player of the Season for her consistent performances in the middle of the pitch for the Blues with a number of other players chasing her in a close contest voted on by club supporters.
The 29-year-old England international thanked the fans for their votes.
“It is an honour being voted player of the season by the supporters.
“I have loved every minute of this season and am really looking forward to next season and trying to push on as a team.”
The Women’s Young Player of the Season prize went to 22-year-old goalkeeper Sandy MacIver whose steady hands between the sticks kept the Blues in the hunt for just about every game she featured in, resulting in her first Three Lions call-up as well.
26-year-old forward Simone Magill picked up the award for the Women’s Professional Footballers’ Association Community Champion for her multi-faceted work with Everton in the Community during this pandemic.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone. To be able to play my part in trying to bring some joy to our members in the community gives me great pleasure.
“Over the past year I’ve been involved in lots of different ways with our Everton in the Community participants. I appreciate it was a very difficult year for everyone and I wanted to try to give back in any shape or form I could.”
Moving on to the Club Academy, 19-year-old central defender Ryan Astley nabbed the Everton Under-23s Player of the Season trophy, with manager David Unsworth heaping praise on the youngster, calling him the Under-23s’ “most consistent, outstanding player… a consummate professional and pleasure to work with”.
The Academy’s Keith Tamlin Award, given to the player who consistently attains high standards of excellence, attitude and application at the Academy, was won by midfielder Tyler Onyango. The 18-year-old not only made the jump from the Under-18s to the Under-23s this season, but was often in training with the senior squad as well and made his first team debut in the FA Cup Fourth Round win over Sheffield Wednesday in January.
He looked set to continue in the squad as well before an unfortunate ankle fracture and ligament injury requiring surgery ended his season, but will definitely be one of the youngsters to keep an eye on next season.
17-year-old attacking midfielder Charlie Whitaker won the Everton Under-18 Player of the Season award after an excellent season in Paul Tait’s side, picking up 11 goals and 5 assists in 26 appearances in the Under-18 Premier League, Premier League 2 and the FA Youth Cup. He made the step up to the Under-23 side and immediately made a difference there too, bagging five goals and two assists in five games.
Striker Tom Cannon was given the Tony Heslop Award, for the player who represents The People’s Club with distinction and passion. The 18-year-old who made his Republic of Ireland Under-19s debut this season featured in 38 games for both the Under-18 and Under-23 sides, scoring frequently for both and ending the campaign with 14 goals and 5 assists.
The Sir Philip Carter Award, given to the Under-18 player who has shown first-class commitment and achievement in his education while at the Academy was won by Lewis Warrington. The midfielder, who has been with the Club since the age of six, was a key member of Tait’s Under-18s before making the jump up to the Under-23s for the last month of the season.
Joe Moore, who completed various endurance challenges to raise nearly £20,000 for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and a special needs club, was announced as the Everton Fan of the Year. The long-time season ticket holder suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia but has overcome his own personal challenges to help others in need.
Announcing the award, former striker and current first team coach Duncan Ferguson praised Moore for his work.
“What an incredible achievement, Joe, we are all so proud of you at Everton and would like to thank you for all your support and hard work.”
Three other customary awards - the Everton Giant, the Chairman’s Blueblood Award and The People’s Club Award - were not announced yet and will be awarded at a later date. Click here for the full video announcement, or watch it below.