Ivan Toney paid tribute to Brentford's coaching staff after winning the Sky Bet Championship Golden Boot, but the special praise was reserved for his Mum. Earlier this month, Ivan was presented with the award after scoring 31 Sky Bet Championship. This put him in a special category of Brentford strikers and was also the most in the second tier for almost 30 years.
It was an impressive double for 25-year-old Toney, who also won the 2019/20 Sky Bet League One Golden Boot when at Peterborough United, proving himself to be one of the best marksmen in the English game. The award takes into account all league games, and does not include Play-Off fixtures. And after taking the prize, Ivan spoke to the media.
He spoke about what he had done to get his goals and how he was confident he would get to the 30-mark, despite a few games without a goal in April. He had praise for the Brentford coaching staff, who integrated him in to the Brentford system. But it was his Mum who was his main inspiration.
Speaking to The Sun, Ivan said: “My mum has played a massive part in my life. From when I was very young, she’d always worry when I was out playing with my friends and wanted to make sure I got home safe. There were times when she even skipped meals to make sure I was eating.
"I only found this out a few months back when she mentioned it casually during a family discussion. Hearing that makes you realise you don’t always understand what your parents do for you until you look back and think about it. I can’t thank her enough for what she’s done and where she’s put me today. Hopefully I can continue making her proud."
In an interview with Sky Sports, Ivan focussed more on his football development. He joined The Bees a few days before the start of the season and said he took time to get to his top fitness. But since then, he hasn't looked back.
"Coming to this club, you have to be fit because the way the manager wants everybody playing is on the front foot, pressing, running in behind," he said. "I feel like the first two or three games I was off it, I'm not going to lie - a bit behind the pace. There would be chances I wasn't ready for because I was tired from doing runs before. Now, and throughout the season, I feel like I'm the fittest I have been throughout my whole career and I have just been getting fitter and fitter.
"The coaching staff and everybody here has helped me through that, putting on extra sessions, making sure I'm doing this right, I'm doing that right and it has helped massively, hence the goals. It is a fact of, when the next chance comes your way, are you ready for it? The fitness helps because yes, I'm ready for it and I'll put it in the back of the goal."