Stevens named News/Sports Mail player of the season

Enda Stevens with The News/Sports Mail player of the year trophy
Enda Stevens with The News/Sports Mail player of the year trophy
Milan Lalkovic celebrates his goal at Newport. Picture: Neil Marshall

Free-scoring Pompey’s slice of pre-season history

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ENDA STEVENS has been crowned The News/ Sports Mail player of the season.

In his second season at Fratton Park, the left-back secured 34 per cent of readers’ votes.

Stevens fended off stiff competition from centre-backs Christen Burgess and Matt Clarke, as well as goal-hero Kal Naismith.

The Irishman featured in all but one match this season in League Two.

He was prolific down the left flank, and registered one goal and nine assists in Pompey’s promotion season.

Stevens has also been a rock in the back four.

The former Aston Villa defender was named in the Football League Team of the Year and Professional Footballers’ Association League Two Team of the Year respectively.

The 26-year-old is out of contract at Fratton Park this summer, but boss Paul Cook has insisted he wants to keep Stevens and believes the full-back can go on to represent Republic of Ireland in the future.

Burgess finished an admirable second with 25 per cent of the vote.

The centre-half has been a rock for the Blues and was also named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year.

In-form Naismith came third in The News/Sports Mail readers’ poll.

The Scot gained 21 per cent of votes after an impressive end to the season.

At the end of the 2015-16 campaign, the forward was told he had no future at Fratton Park.

Clarke finished in fourth place, gaining 13 per cent of the votes.

Other nominated were Kyle Bennett, Michael Doyle, Gareth Evans and David Forde.