Every summer since 2017, Football in Berkshire has held an awards ceremony to celebrate the great and the good of the non-league, women’s and grassroots game across the county.
In 2020, a season you might be aware was hampered and ultimately curtailed by a global pandemic, we held an online award ceremony and managed to dish out gongs to a very deserving group of people as well as acknowledging hundreds more volunteers.
In 2021, it doesn’t look like we’ll even really be able to do that with some clubs not even able to get to double figures in terms of league fixtures completed.
That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to celebrate though. Games were still played, countless hundreds of hours were volunteered, goals were scored and serious effort was made in the most trying of circumstances. You can scroll down to the bottom of this article to make your own choices.
Some football is obviously continuing, in the Vanarama National League with Maidenhead United and in the FA WSL with Reading FC Women, and there may also be some cup competitions slotted in to give some competitive football at various levels, but I have asked the various contributors to Football in Berkshire to make their own awards across a series of categories.
In the meantime, it’s only fair I give you the Tom Canning 2020/21 season that never really was awards according to me:
Player of the Season
Sean Moore – Just brilliant. 12 goals in 12 games, most of them absolutely brilliant strikes. After a few seasons coming off the bench, Moore has excelled at the centre of the team this season and was just brimming with confidence. It’s only a shame we didn’t get to see what else he was going to do this season.
Manager of the Season
Danny Robinson – to take Hungerford Town from the bottom to the top of the Vanarama National League South is a stunning achievement. For it to be done by a manager making the step up two divisions and with an almost completely new squad is nothing short of sensational. With an FA Vase and Hellenic League triumph already on his CV, Hungerford Town fans will hope that Robinson can continue to take them with him on his upward trajectory.
Volunteer of the Season
Victoria Pyke – spoken of in revered tones whenever I have visited The Rivermoor in the last 12 months. Victoria drove the many improvements you can see around the ground and has pushed the club on as well as keeping on top of the many financial and secretarial tasks in the background.
The best game you went to was..
Binfield 5 – 1 AFC Totton – Put simply this was a demolition of higher opposition who seemed to think they only needed to turn up at Hill Farm Lane to win this FA Cup tie. Totton were tipped for promotion from step 4 this season and were, at the curtailment of the season, second in the Southern League Division One South after 9 games. They had no answer that afternoon though to the pace of Asa Povey and Ollie Harris, and I remember writing at the time, you don’t give Sean Moore the time and space to shoot from 25/30 yards out.
Your favourite ground was..
Mortimer – I didn’t get to a great variety of grounds this season, but I did finally get across to Mortimer and I loved it. A good crowd around the barrier marked pitch in the village, a small but well-stocked clubhouse, I’ll certainly be back.
Your favourite social media outlet was..
Ollie Bayliss – not Berkshire specific but Ollie has excelled at letting us all know what an earth is going on behind the scenes in football admin over the last year. A one stop shop.
Any honourable mentions?
Bobby Wilkinson has always kept in touch through the lockdowns and has done a brilliant job firing Bracknell Town up the Isthmian. Tom Holmes behind the scenes at Reading FC Women has been great at getting FiB access to games and I also want to highlight Paul Gutteridge at Caversham United – they may be ‘Sunday League’ but they are showing us how it’s done online and raising a lot of money for charity with it.
Agree with my selections? You can make your own choices by filling out the form below. Please note, a selection of these will be published over the next few weeks:
Please try to avoid one-word answers and give a little explanation as to why you have chosen them.