Ryan Sessegnon, Bradley Dack and Billy Kee were named the Sky Bet Players of the Season for their respective divisions at the 2018 EFL Awards on Sunday. All three have been central to Fulham’s, Blackburn Rovers’ and Accrington Stanley’s push for promotion, contributing a total of 52 goals and 21 assists between them in League action.
Sessegnon was also named the EA Sports Young Player of the Season. The 17-year-old beat off competition from Norwich City’s James Maddison and Wolves’ Ruben Neves to collect the honour after a stellar season for the promotion chasing Cottagers. He was also named Championship Apprentice of the Year while Anthony Hartigan, of AFC Wimbledon, and Ben Wilmot, of Stevenage, won the League One and League Two prizes.
Olly Lee won the Mitre Goal of the Season prize. The Luton Town midfielder’s memorable strike against Cambridge United – where he struck the ball from deep in his own half and over the ‘keepers head - claimed him the award, voted for on the night by those in attendance.
Joe Bryan, of Bristol City, was named Community Player of the Year while Derby County won Community Club of the Year. Blackburn were named Family Club of the Year and Mustafa El-Bayati won the Fan of the Year prize for his support of Northampton Town. EFL's Special Project Award went to Queens Park Rangers to honour their work towards organising #Game4Grenfell in 2017
The overall Football Manager Team of the Season for across the EFL was announced. The XI features six players from the Sky Bet Championship, three from Sky Bet League One, two from Sky Bet League Two, with John Coleman of Accrington Stanley managing the side.
There was also an XI named of players that were developed by clubs in the EFL:
Joe Hart (Shrewsbury Town); Kyle Walker (Sheffield United), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), John Stones (Barnsley), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United); Lewis Cook (Leeds United), Jonjo Shelvey (Charlton Athletic), Dele Alli (MK Dons), Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff City); Raheem Sterling (QPR), Callum Wilson (Coventry City
Former Southampton and Bristol Rovers striker Rickie Lambert received the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award. The Sir Tom Finney Award is presented to a player who has had an exceptional career in the EFL and epitomises the man after which this award is named. This special award gives the EFL the opportunity to recognise players who, like Sir Tom before them, have set standards for others to aspire to and reached the end of a truly outstanding playing career. Brentford B Head Coach Kevin O'Connor won the prize last year.
Playing for nine clubs and scoring more than 215 goals in over 600 games, Rickie Lambert played and scored in every division in English professional football; winning three promotions and personal accolades in a hugely successful 18-year career.
John Motson was recognised with the Contribution to League Football Award at the 2018 EFL Awards. The Award is the EFL’s most prestigious award and is presented annually by the Board of the EFL to an individual who has given a lifetime’s service to the professional game on and off the pitch.
Motty has been an English football commentator since 1971. He has been ever present in football throughout the years, commentating on over 2,000 football matches across the league and its competitions. His fifty year career has seen him witness some of the biggest moments in football history.
Motson said: “I was a Football League commentator when I started in 1971 and I’ve always been an admirer of how the league has stuck together over the years. To get this award was a huge surprise to me – I didn’t realise it was going to be the first award tonight or that there would be so many nice words spoken.
“I am really grateful – It has been a great privilege and a great thrill to do what I’ve done. I’ve had some celebrations this season because it is the last one before I retire, but I have to say this EFL Award tops the lot.”