After much deliberation and discussion between myself and my fellow Hull City Ladies reporter, Sam, we can today announce the four players shortlisted for the Supporters Player of the year award, the award that all of us at FanaticHull are extremely proud and honoured to be sponsoring at this year’s award evening on Friday 15th June 2018.
Sam and I were surprised and delighted when the club asked us to come up with the shortlist, but little did we know just how tough it would be to whittle the list down to just four of this magnificent squad.
If you have read my recent articles on the individual player reviews you will have no doubt noticed that EVERY member of this squad have qualities and attributes that could have seen them make the final shortlist but we could only have four.
The club through their social media platforms are conducting an online poll that is open until the 29th of May for you to have the chance to cast your vote for one of the following four exceptional nominees.
1: Hope Knight, left wing/forward
What a debut season in the Amber & Black for Hope. She started the season flying with FOUR goals in the 6-1 win over Barnsley on her competitive debut. In total Hope has netted 17 times in the league including hat-tricks on 3 separate occasions to top the Tigress scoring charts.The tally is even more impressive when you consider she is not an out and out striker, but usually plays left wing or on the left of a front three. It’s not just Hope’s goals that has been a highlight of her season, her tenacity and ability to get under the skin of her opponents has been a joy to watch this year. Hope has definitely played her part in bring Glory to Hull City Ladies.
2: Jo Symington (c), Left Back
In my individual player reviews I said Jo exemplifies what is needed in a captain and leader, and she has done just that. An ever present this year and having only missed 1 league game in three years, Jo’s level of consistency is remarkable. Fearless, skilful and tireless are just some of the traits that Jo displays every time she takes the field. A leader by example both on and off the pitch, she has the respect of everyone around her, from the supporters to backroom staff and management but most importantly her team mates. Not many beat Jo in a challenge either on the floor or in the air when defending but her selfless lung bursting runs are a major feature of the Tigresses play. Jo has 5 league goals to her name this season.
3: Natasha Cooke, centre back
Before this season began Tash was unsure whether she wanted to carry on playing but she did and boy what a crucial decision that was. Tash played all but 1 league game this season and she was the rock that the Tigress defence was built on. Cool and calm under pressure Tash marshalled her defensive partners with extraordinary efficiency. Her ability to read the game and spot any threat was crucial at times and more often than not dealt with expertly. Constantly talking and instructing her team mates around her was a major factor in the team conceding only 14 league goals all season. A cultured footballer, Tash was often the architect of some fine attacking Tigress football, initially coming from a superb Cooke pass. Tash is also always a threat from set pieces and corners with her heading ability and this was displayed perfectly when her only goal of the season was a fine header in the brilliant 0-1 win at Brighouse. When a sensible and calming or encouraging voice is needed then Tash is the woman to turn to.
4: Rachael Ackroyd, striker
Like Hope, Rachael Ackroyd has enjoyed an outstanding debut season for Hull City Ladies. The striker has netted 9 times in 19 games this season but this figure doesn’t tell half the story of Ackers’ impact on the side this year. Her ability to lead the line and hold the ball up and bringing her team mates into play has at times been exceptional this season for someone as young as Rachael. She is mature way beyond her years. Her work rate is second to none and she is an ever willing runner into the channels or chasing down the ball. The Tigresses defensive efforts this season have often started from the front with Ackers who’s pressing play has brought nightmares to many opposing defenders. Rachael has strength and agility that she uses to the optimum effect when battling against bigger defenders then herself. Quietly spoken on and off the pitch Ackers let’s her feet do the talking.
As I stated earlier we could have had at least 10 of the girls on our supporters player of the year awards shortlist but we could only short list four.
Sam, I and all the guys at FanaticHull would like to pass on our massive thanks to everyone at Hull City Ladies and wholeheartedly congratulate each and everyone of you on your achievements this season.
We would encourage all of you reading this to join us and Hull City Ladies at the awards ceremony on June 15th for what promises to be an unforgettable night celebrating everything Hull City Ladies have done this season. Details are above.
Hull City Ladies the team, that the people from the City of Hull should be immensely proud of.
Photos courtesy of Dave Hare. Once again many, many thanks Dave.