Bass lands Footballer of the Year award

THE stars of Manx football were recognised at the annual FA awards in front of a packed Garey Mooar clubhouse in Union Mills on Friday night.

Many familiar faces were in attendance as players, coaches and supporters alike enjoyed a celebrated look back at the 2007-08 season and voiced their support as the Island's best players from the past 12 months were honoured.

St George's shining star Chris Bass Jr added yet another accolade to his growing collection as he picked up the Burrell Rosebowl Player of the Year award, voted for by his fellow players, to truly reaffirm himself as surely the brightest talent in Manx football.

The Glencrutchery Road hero was at the heartbeat of his team's treble-winning season that saw Chris Bass Sr's side win their fourth league title in five years when they emphatically claimed the inaugural Sure Mobile Premier League crown.

In addition, the champions recorded a romping win over arch rivals Peel in the Cu Plas FA Cup final and the newly-crowned player of the year put the finishing touches to his season by playing a pivotal role in his side's victory in the NK Joinery Hospital Cup.

The IoMFA player of the year award for CFS Division Two was hotly contested with a number of highly revered players all in the mix.

In the end nobody could argue as Pulrose's defensive rock Gregg Wood stepped up to collect the award to cap a memorable season for the Douglas back liner.

Wood was in commendable form all season as his side narrowly failed in their bid for promotion to the Premier League in a nail-biting final half to their campaign.

Calum Morrissey was the undisputed goalscoring king in the Premier League as he banged in 37 goals to leave the competition trailing behind as he picked up the Alf Rigby Golden Boot award.

The Geordies maestro finished 14 goals clear of his nearest challenger as he performed with vigour for both club and country with a series of lethal displays for the champions and the Isle of Man national side.

Veteran striker Nick Hurt pipped his rivals to the post as he scooped the Isle of Man Newspapers Silver Boot.

The Island front man produced a blistering finish to the season as he just beat the likes of Colby duo Furo Davies and Josh Kelly and Pulrose's David Skillen to the claim the honours and help secure Michael United's promotion back to the big time.

Women's player of the year was jointly won by Douglas Royal's Kym Hicklin and Michael's Katie Connell.

Both women enjoyed vintage seasons that saw them at the fore of their team's respective success.

Hicklin was the centrepiece as Royals stormed to lift the Sure Mobile Women's League title and left countless opposition in their wake en route to the Sure Mobile Women's FA Cup to make it a double-winning season at Noble's Park.

Although Michael United did not enjoy the best of seasons they can still feel immensely proud of the tireless efforts of Connell between the posts as she embodied the spirit of the westerners and deserves her shared accolade with Hicklin.

Laxey's Michael Fernandes won the Sure Mobile Combination One top goalscorer prize following his exploits that helped his side recover well to seal a mid-table position.

It was then the turn of Marown's Tony Bowland to step up and receive the CFS Combination Two equivalent after he narrowly pipped Castletown's Lee Taylor to the post following a string of dazzling performances for his side.

The Fred Faragher Fair Play Award was presented to Douglas and District, and deservedly so after they led by example in showing the true spirit of the game all season long.

The 15 to 17 equivelant was jointly picked up by Peel and Ramsey as the youth set-up at both clubs continues to go from strength to strength.

The hard-working referees weren't overlooked as Gareth Jones was awarded the Referee of the Year prize for a level five offical after a season where the veteran produced a string of fine performances with the whistle and earned continued respect from all those in the Island football family.

Overall a superb night was enjoyed by all and it was credit to the players and staff alike to see each award recipient being cheered and congratulated equally by the other clubs.

With the curtain on the 2007-08 season now officially drawn it's time to look ahead to August when battle will begin for footballing honours once more.

With the continued dedication of all those involved in the Manx game the 2008-09 season promises to be the best yet, with the promise of some pulsating football to come.

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