A Fine Way To End by Easton Thain
After defeating Huntly in their final game of the season the Jags unwound at the end of a tough season with the annual Player of the Year Awards held in the new buildings at Victoria Park and a fine night was had by all. The hospitality suite was full to the gunnels as everyone awaited the outcomes and, of course, there was a hot favourites for the awards, many feeling that he could make a clean sweep of these. A formal welcome was made by the club president Garry Farquhar and a boob by his ‘scriptwriter’ led to much laughter when at the start he welcomed the visitors from Nottingham instead of Northampton. He quickly pointed out to his ‘scriptwriter’ (as in me!) that said writer had typed out Nottingham – ach well I am only human. The president then commented on the season that has gone focussing on the plus points and also mentioned the superb efforts by the U-20 side who could end up as Champions of the Aberdeenshire League.
The first presentations were by manager Graeme Stewart and assistant Lewis MacKinnon who handed over bouquets of flowers to Sandra Paterson and Fiona Geddes in recognition of their tremendous work in the boardroom on match days. Jim Marshall on behalf of the visitors from Northampton, The Carlsberg Club, then handed over the Man of the Match award for the game to Chris Angus who has a fair collection of these from the season! Next up ‘Spider’ Stewart presented a silver plate to Iain MacRae to mark his 100 games for the club. Then it was over to James Newlands, President of the Supporters Club to make two awards. The first was to the Supporters’ Player of the Year and it came as no surprise that this went to Chris Angus. Then came the Murray Memorial Trophy for the Supporter of the Year and this went to one of the real characters amongst the fans David Wood. Moving on and next it was the turn of the Jimmy Reid Memorial Trophy for the top scorer, ‘Poppy’ was one of the real characters behind the scenes at Victoria Park and he came up with his trophy for the top scorer and it has carried on his memory. Going into the game v Huntly Chris Angus led the race but he could have been caught by Liam Baxter who was three behind. However, Liam was suspended for the game so the trophy went to Chris. Then Chris Saunderson from the Banffshire Advertiser, came forward to present the large Quaich and small Quaich for keeping to their player of the year and this too went to Chris Angus. Was the clean sweep on for the ‘Blonde Bomber’? The next award answered that the ‘Thistle Review Player of the Year’. This is the one that means most to me for obvious reason and I take in all aspects before making my decision including how players interact with fans etc. This year’s winner ticked all the boxes and a big roar went up when it was awarded to Andy Low. Two trophies remained and with due respect to the ones already presented these were the most precious, the Young Player of the Year Award and the Players Player of the Year Award. Lewis MacKinnon came up to present the former and spoke about the burgeoning young talent the club possesses but there was no doubt about the outstanding lad amongst them who has come on so much in the last few years so the award rightly went to Drew Copeland. That left the Players Player of the Year the one the lads all want as it is recognition from your peers. ‘Spider’ Stewart stepped up and reflected on the season and also recognised the tremendous back room efforts of Ian Dalgarno, Jim McAllister, Malcolm Gordon, Jimmy Sinclair et al. Then came the moment of the presentation and it went to one Chris Angus. Nearly a clean sweep for the ‘Blonde Bomber’ but not quite but clearly he was an outstanding player in 2014-15 and hopefully beyond!