Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake stole the show at the 2009 Football League Awards - incorporating FourFourTwo’s Top 50 Football League Players - picking up both the Championship Player of the Year and Mitre Goal of the Year prizes. The announcement was made at a gala dinner at Grosvenor House, Park Lane on Sunday March 29 in front of more than 800 attendees from clubs, sponsors and representatives of the football industry. Ebanks-Blake - receiving the award on his 23rd birthday - is ranked first in FourFourTwo's Top 50 Football League Players list, with Reading striker Kevin Doyle second and Wolves winger Michael Kightly third. Leicester City striker Matty Fryatt and Shrewsbury Town talisman Grant Holt were named Player of the Year in Leagues 1 and 2 respectively. Leeds United starlet Fabian Delph picked up the Young Player of the Year prize and Jimmy Hill OBE was honoured with the Contribution to League Football award. Former Manchester United front-man Ebanks-Blake is in his second season at Molineux after signing from Plymouth Argyle in January 2008. After scooping the Championship Golden Boot last season with 23 goals for both Plymouth and Wolves combined, the Cambridge-born striker is set to retain his title this year having already plundered 24 Championship goals, firing Mick McCarthy's team to the top of the table and within touching distance of the Premier League. The prolific striker has also been rewarded with international recognition this season, earning a first England U21 cap in November against the Czech Republic. "I'm honoured that people recognise me as one of the better players and have taken time out to watch how I play," he said. "I've been delighted with my form, but without my team-mates, the management and everyone involved at Wolves, I wouldn't even be in the running. "Last year was a bit stop-start whereas this season I've been in the side from the beginning - and have benefited from playing regularly. I've improved by working hard on the training ground, but we have good players who create chances for the strikers and I've managed to put away more than I've missed." As well as being named the best player outside of the Premier League, Ebanks-Blake also scooped the award for best goal of 2008 for his stunning effort at Charlton Athletic on March 29 - his 22nd birthday. Also on the five-goal shortlist were Grant Holt's effort for Shrewsbury at Rochdale, Jordan Stewart's strike for Derby against Sheffield Wednesday, Joe Garner's chip for Nottingham Forest at Southampton and Martin Woods's finish for Doncaster Rovers at Forest. The May issue of FourFourTwo magazine - out Monday - features the full rundown of the Top 50 Football League Players, the Cardiff vs Swansea derby and interviews with Colchester boss Paul Lambert and Rotherham-supporting funnymen the Chuckle Brothers. FourFourTwo.com: More to read... NEWS: Fryatt wins League 1 award NEWS: Holt scoops League 2 gong NEWS: Delph picks up Young Player prize NEWS: Football League Awards: Every winner named BLOG: Jimmy Hill: A Life Less Ordinary GALLERY: Football League Awards 2009
29 March 2009
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