Everton today announced their season awards for the just-completed 2021-22 campaign, bringing to an end a tumultuous season with little to be positive about, but with the hope that the club can go on to bigger and brighter things in the future.
Men’s Player of the Season - Jordan Pickford
Voted for by the Everton supporters, the England #1 scooped the top award for the players thanks to his invaluable contributions in goal, including some remarkable saves in the last few weeks of the season that ensured the Toffees would stave off relegation worries and survive in the Premier League after a challenging year. His save off Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta is widely considered one of the best saves made, and not only for just this season.
Manager Frank Lampard had this to say about the 28-year-old -
“Since we [Lampard and staff] came in, there have been some outstanding performances and efforts from everyone, but the outstanding player, and I agree… is Everton’s number one and England’s number one. Jordan has made some ridiculous saves in recent weeks, he is a great lad and this is fully deserved.”
Pickford commended the fanbase for their unstinting support -
“I have a brilliant relationship with our fans and receiving this award from them means a lot to me. They have been right behind me from the day I joined the Club and I felt so proud when I walked out on the first day of this season to see the flag they’d created.
“I know it’s been said a lot, but the way they supported us in the closing weeks of the season, when we really needed them, was absolutely incredible. Like most of the lads, I had never seen or experienced anything close to that level of support.
“I am so pleased I could play my own small part in keeping Everton in the Premier League and repay the fans in some way for everything they did.”
Men’s Young Player of the Season, Men’s Players’ Player of the Season - Anthony Gordon
The 21-year-old can consider this his breakthrough season after firmly establishing himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet throughout the campaign, featuring in 40 games in total in all competitions, more than any other player in the squad.
Gordon nabbed two awards, with the wide forward named the young player of the season (voted on by the supporters) as well as getting the most votes from his teammates for their player of the season.
Club captain Seamus Coleman credited the youngster for his “spirit, heart and determination” -
“This lad has really come into his own. You [Gordon] have been a credit to yourself for the past year.”
Gordon thanked his fellow players -
“Thanks to all my teammates, they have given me a lot of advice on and off the pitch and I couldn‘t have done it without them.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Your support has gone a long way for us this season, so thank you very much.”
Goal of the Season - Vitalii Mykolenko
The fullback, a January signing, has established himself as the club’s starting left back and his performances have become more and more assured as he has settled in, despite the ongoing strife in his homeland Ukraine. His superbly-struck volley away at Leicester City opened the scoring early and set the foundation for a crucial win on the road when the Blues needed points desperately.
The goal of the season vote was conducted just over a week ago, and likely would have been a closer decision with how crucial Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late winner at home against Crystal Palace was.
Women’s Player of the Season - Gabby George
Central defender Gabby George has led from the front all season long in a frustrating campaign for the Blues, a year that has seen three different managers take charge of the Women’s team.
George was named the player of the season by her teammates, marking a comeback from an ACL tear the previous year to feature in every game bar one when she was suspended.
Speaking to evertonfc.com she said -
“It’s a real privilege to receive this award. To win an award recognised by the people you work with every single day is one of the biggest honours. It’s been a season full of challenges and, as a group, we’ve learnt a lot.
“For myself, personally, I’m happy to be back playing on a consistent basis. At this point last year, I had just come back from injury after rupturing my ACL. There are a lot of people behind the scenes who deserve credit for this award as, with their help, I feel I’ve come back even stronger.
“Our supporters deserve immense credit as well. Their support has been fantastic this season and they’ve been our 12th player when it’s mattered most. This is a fantastic club, and we will do everything in our power to come back even stronger next season.”
Women’s interim manager Chris Roberts added -
“Gabby has shown incredible consistency this year. To come back from an ACL reconstruction and play, not only to the levels she has, but so often shows how strong her character is. And it was Gabby’s strength in character that helped to drive the team on through a difficult season.
“This recognition from her teammates shows the impact she has had this year. I’ve no doubt there is much more to come from Gabby and I’m excited to see that progression.”
Women’s Young Player of the Season - Hanna Bennison
The Swede star showed flashes of her immense potential during the campaign and will be a key part of the club’s rebuild next season. 18-year-old Bennison was chosen for the award by the coaching staff, with Roberts saying -
“Hanna has done very well in her first season in England. It shows Hanna’s strength of character to move away from Sweden at 18 years old and perform so well. The standard of performance and professionalism that Hanna sets herself every day is why she has such an exciting future in the game.
“From her great strike against Birmingham City, to her assist to Aurora Galli for the winner against Aston Villa, Hanna has stepped up when it has mattered. I’m confident Hanna will only continue to improve, and she has the potential to become one of the best midfielders in this league.”
Everton Fan of the Year - Amy Wilson
The Fan of the Year award goes to Amy Wilson, who goes by the handle @blue_nose_amy on Twitter. Her tireless work was recognized by the Fans’ Forum with the award. A member of Everton Disabled Supporters’ Association, Amy continues to be involved in movements to ensure access to live sporting events for all fans while driving change targeting a disability-inclusive society.
Amy is currently in hospital and the Everton family around the world sends her and her family and friends all their love and best wishes, and are wishing her a speedy recovery.
Click here to read comments about Amy’s selfless and unstinting love for the Blues from members of the Fans’ Forum as well as Duncan Ferguson, Tim Cahill and Tom Davies.
Everton’s ‘Spirit of the Blues’ Award - Michael Dullaghan
The inaugural Spirit of the Blues Award was created to recognise a supporter “who inspires others and represents the spirit of everything Everton and our People’s Club values”, and there is no one better than Michael Dullaghan who espouses exactly that.
Michael has been very prominent on Twitter — his handle is @Dull43Mick — for his videos offering support and encouragement to the players as well as his drawings of the players and coaching staff, and he has gotten to meet a number of his heroes through that.
Click here to read comments and see pictures of Michael and what the members of the Club had to say about him.
The next Everton Giant, the Chairman’s Blueblood Award and The People’s Club Award category winners will be announced at a later date.