Neal Maupay has been nominated for the EFL Player of the Year at the London Football Awards. There’s a double reason to celebrate for Brentford fans as our Community Sports Trust’s Ambassadors Project is in the running for the Community Project of the Year, sponsored by the Evening Standard.
London’s top scorer Maupay, who took his tally to 18 for the season last night against Barnet, will be up against Karlan Grant (Charlton Athletic), Lee Gregory (Millwall), Lyle Taylor (Charlton Athletic), and Luke Freeman (Queens Park Rangers) for the award won by Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon 12 months ago.
The striker has been involved in 22 league goals this term, the joint-highest in the second tier. Neal is no stranger to award nominations this campaign after he was shortlisted for August's PFA Fans' Championship Player of the Month and September's EFL Championship Player of the Month.
It’s the second-year running the Community Sports’ Trust have been shortlisted for the work they do in our local area. Their Ambassadors programme, which is up against projects from Arsenal and Chelsea, saw five members of the squad, including captain Romaine Sawyers, goalkeeper Daniel Bentley, and defender Yoann Barbet sign up as community ambassadors for the Trust.
The players, who have been involved with various community projects over the past year, raise awareness of the Trust’s important community work and promote community initiatives they feel most passionate about.
The winners will be announced on Thursday 28 February at Battersea Evolution as part of an evening which has become an increasingly high-profile event in the sporting calendar, with attendees in recent years including Arsene Wenger, Dimitri Payet, Aaron Ramsey, Roy Hodgson, Harry Redknapp and Harry Kane. The awards, selected by a panel of leading ex-players, football administrators and journalists, raise funds for Willow, the only national charity providing Special Days for seriously ill 16-40-year-olds.
These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever.
Willow was founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson and his wife, Megs, as a lasting memorial to their daughter Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Since 1999 the charity has fulfilled more than 13,000 Special Days for young adults living with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
Other prizes up for grabs are Premier League Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, won by Daniel Bentley in 2018, and Manager of the Year, which was awarded to Bees boss Mark Warburton in 2015. There are also awards for Women’s Player of the Year, and Outstanding contribution to a London Club.