Our finale against Blackburn Rovers at Griffin Park earlier this month not only brought down the curtain on another successful Sky Bet Championship campaign but saw a number of players and staff rewarded for their efforts over the course of the 2016/17 season.
Jota – Junior Player of the Year
Once again young Bees fans were invited to vote for their Player of the Year with one Junior Season Ticket Holder or Club Member winning the chance to present the trophy on the pitch at half-time. Dan Alison was that lucky fan as he presented Spanish sensation Jota with the award after the winger’s incredible end to the season.
After returning from Eibar in January, Jota struck 12 goals in The Bees final 20 Sky Bet Championship games. The 25-year-old netted his first career hat-trick in the win over Rotherham United, saw his strike against Queens Park Rangers voted the club’s Goal of the Season, and picked up the Hottie of the Year Award after a remarkable six months back at Griffin Park.
Nico Yennaris – Italian Bees Player of the Year
Brentford’s ever-present midfielder Nico Yennaris was this year’s winner of the Italian Bees Player of the Year award. Nico was the only man to feature in all 49 of The Bees competitive games last season, finding the net on six occasions. His strike against Birmingham City finished second in the club’s Goal of the Season vote while his leveller against Fulham at Craven Cottage ensured a share of the bragging rights from the final West London derby of the season.
John Egan – Irish Bees Player of the Year
Central defender John Egan enjoyed a remarkable first season in West London and capped it off by picking up the Irish Bees Player of the Year Award. John netted twice on his home debut against Ipswich Town and went on to help The Bees keep nine clean sheets during his 34 league appearances. The 24-year-old’s form was also recognised by Republic of Ireland Manager Martin O’Neill who handed him an international debut in March against Iceland.
Chris Mepham – Mary Halder Award
Defender Chris Mepham was this year’s recipient of the Mary Halder B Team Player of the Year Award. The award, in memory of club employee Mary Halder who spent more than 25 years at the club, was presented by B Team Head Coach Kevin O’Connor and Caroline Halder.
It was a breakthrough year for 19-year-old Chris as he starred at the heart of The B Team defence in their debut season. He scored one of the goals of the season for Brentford B in their 3-2 win over Manchester United last November before going on to make his first-team debut in the 5-1 Emirates FA Cup Third Round win over Eastleigh.
Daniel Bentley – PFA Community Champion
The Bees goalkeeper was rewarded for work in the community since he joined the club from Southend United the previous summer. The 23-year-old had been instrumental in community activity and, in recognition of this, he received The PFA Community Champion Award from the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s Luis Melville
Derek Hazell – Graham Haynes Award
The Graham Haynes Award is for a person who, over a long period of time, has voluntarily contributed to Brentford by way of service, endeavour, fund raising or other activity to promote the Club for the benefit of its supporters. This year’s winner was Derek Hazell who has followed the club for well over 40 years and in that time has done much behind the scenes as well as helping with supporters coach travel for many of those years. On top of that, since its founding in 1986, he has been the Honorary Secretary and an integral part of The Brentford Lifeline Society, which has raised well over £2million for Brentford Football Club.
The full list of award winners from our Player of the Year Awards Dinner were:
Harlee Dean - Supporters' Player of the Year
Ryan Woods - Players' Player of the Year
Jota - Goal of the Year
Jota - Hottie of the Year
Harlee Dean - Bees Travel Club Away Player of the Year
Lasse Vibe/Yoann Barbet - Community Player of the Year
Zain Westbrooke - B Team Players' Player of the Year
John Magill - Staff Contribution Award