Southend United's Ryan Leonard: Winning player of the year surpasses all other highs this season (From Echo)
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Southend United's Ryan Leonard: Winning player of the year surpasses all other highs this season
SOUTHEND United midfielder Ryan Leonard insisted winning supporters' player of the year surpassed all of his other memorable moments this season.
Leonard has enjoyed a terrific campaign in the centre of the park.
And he was thrilled to pick up the award.
“I've had a lot of great moments this season, including being captain and getting a new contract but I think winning this award is the best of the lot,” said Leonard, 21.
“I'm very proud and it's a massive honour for me as well, especially as a lot of the lads have had brilliant seasons for us.
“I'd like to thank all the supporters that voted for me and ask them to get right behind us in the play-offs now because getting promotion would cap everything off and would certainly be the best moment for me.”
Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley came second in the vote, with winger Kevan Hurst third.
Full-back Ben Coker was named players' player of the year.
And that interested Blues boss Phil Brown.
“I thought the players' player would throw up something different and it did with Ben winning the award,” said Brown.
“He's been very good this year and he's a popular member of the group as well. He's an infectious character who is a bit quirky too and he's taken some of the younger lads under his wing a bit.
“Lenny has also been tearing up the midfield this season and the supporters will have noticed that and been very impressed, especially after he joined as a right-back.
“It's a very hard question for me to have to answer but I think he would've also got my vote for player of the year as well.”
John Egan was also celebrating after winning goal of the season, in a vote run by the Echo, for his super strike away at Scunthorpe United.
And the centre-back admitted to thinking he would never win such an award.
“As a defender I'm not known for scoring goals so to win goal of the season is something I wouldn't have expected,” said Egan.
“But I'm very pleased about it too.”
Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley was named as the Community Player of the season for his work with the Community and Educational Trust department.