We had lots of votes for lots of players this year due to NUFC having a good Championship winning season. However the clear winner of the Alan Gill Award for NUDSA Player of the Year 2016/17 was Matt Ritchie!
We had hoped Matt would be able to join us to pick up the award, but unfortunately he couldn’t make it. Javier Manquillo kindly agreed to pick up the award on his behalf and NUDSA member Kyle Hindle presented the trophy in front of the 130 people in attendance.
Matt, 28, joined NUFC from Bournemouth last summer, dropping from the Premier League to the Championship. He had a very good first season, making 48 appearances in league and cup, scoring 16 goals. He has become a regular in Rafa’s starting 11 playing on the right, and the NUFC fans have taken to the winger with his high energy and hard working style of play. He has already put in some impressive performances this season.
Matt joins a long list of great NUFC players to win NUDSA Player of the Year, becoming the 19th winner – these are all listed on the next page.
On the presentation night Javier Manquillo went around the room to interact with the people attending, posing for photos and signing autographs before accepting the award.
Javier, 23, signed for NUFC this summer from Athletico Madrid, having previously had loan spells at Liverpool, Marseille and Sunderland (we’ll forgive the last one as he helped get them relegated). He started his footballing career in the Real Madrid academy and looks a more than decent signing. He was very friendly and happy, though could do with learning some more Geordie.
Once Javier had done the rounds and accepted the award, we had a game of bingo with our brand new bingo machine, which our DJ struggled with even though it is suitable for 3 years +. We had our pie, pea & chips supper, then did the results of the quiz which inevitably went to a tiebreak. This was followed by some fun musical chairs games. Lastly the raffle was drawn to end an enjoyable evening.
We thank everyone for buying tickets and supporting this event, also thanks to NUFC for their help and support.