Walters dedicates award to medical staff
JONATHAN Walters today dedicated his player of the year double success to the Ipswich Town medical staff.The 24-year-old revealed last week that he had been handicapped by a painful knee injury since the home 2-1 win over Preston on October 6.
JONATHAN Walters today dedicated his player of the year double success to the Ipswich Town medical staff.
The 24-year-old revealed last week that he had been handicapped by a painful knee injury since the home 2-1 win over Preston on October 6.
He did not miss a league match until he was forced into a cartilage operation in the middle of March.
Last night at the players' end-of-season dinner at Trinity Park, Walters won both the players' player of the year and the corporate boxholders' and sponsors' player of the year awards.
He said today: “I want to dedicate these awards to our physio staff, in particular Matt Byard and Mark Endacott.
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“Their expert work has nursed me through and kept me going for most of the season.
“Without them I would not have won these awards.
“It is always an honour to receive an award, but to be voted for by your fellow players makes it even more special.”
Walters, who is now back in the team, has scored 12 goals and his all-round consistent play made him favourite to become player of the year.
Fabian Wilnis, a member of the Ipswich Town 2000 promotion side and with the club since 1999, received a surprise award from Blues boss Jim Magilton.
It was to mark the 37-year-old Dutch defender's service to Ipswich Town - with his future to be decided when his contract runs out in the summer.
It was an emotional moment for Wilnis on a night when Pablo Counago's back heel at Charlton carried off the goal of the season award.
Danny Haynes picked up the John Kerridge Memorial Trophy for the club's most improved player and 18-year-old striker Jordan Rhodes won the Harold Smith Trophy for the academy's most improved player.
Included among the 400 guests were representatives of all the championship and promotion-winning Town sides of the last 50 years including Ray Crawford, Mick Mills, Roger Osborne, John Wark, Chris Kiwomya, Alan Brazil, Simon Milton, Mick Stockwell and John McGreal.
Meanwhile, Shefki Kuqi is expected to return to full training tomorrow and be in line for a recall at Preston on Saturday when Town need three points to take their battle for a Coca-Cola Championship play-off place down to the last day of the regular season.
Wolves' 3-0 win over FA Cup finalists Cardiff City at Molineux last night lifted them above Ipswich, who now drop to eighth place.
But a maximum six points for Town in the final two games could still see them end in the top six.
Wolverhampton manager Mick McCarthy still feels there is plenty of work to be done.
He said: “There will be twists and turns.
“We are two points behind Crystal Palace and they can only give it away, they can only lose it now. They will be nervous.
“We could win both our games and still not get in there.
“But it's there for someone to throw it away, it's happened before and it could happen again.”