Clarke thanks Pompey faithful after award recognition
MATT CLARKE thanked the Fratton faithful for crowning him The News/Sports Mail's Player of the Season.
And he capped a memorable day by helping Pompey to a 2-0 final-day success over Peterborough.
The 21-year-old became the 40th recipient of the trophy initially unveiled in 1979 when Peter Mellor was honoured.
Clarke collected 57 per cent of our readers’ votes – more than double that received by second-placed Brett Pitman (23 per cent).
The central defender was delighted to receive such recognition from Pompey followers.
And it was among five he received on Saturday.
Clarke said: ‘To pick up any sort of individual accolade is always nice and the fact it’s after a lot of people have voted shows what a good season I’ve had.
‘I’ll take it with pride and accept all the accolades without getting too ahead of myself.
‘The fans have watched me develop and like what they have seen, so it is something I can get confidence from.
‘They pay their money every week and obviously want to see someone who gives their all. I would like to think that anyone who comes to watch me play will always say I give it my all, I work hard for the team, put my head in anywhere for the team and take pleasure in that.
‘I suppose it highlights maybe what a good, positive progressive season I’ve had.
‘Once you are in the mix for one award you have the chance for others, I suppose. Whatever the award, it’s about working hard and doing your best for the team.
‘If I ever think I am a rubbish footballer I will take a bit of confidence from looking at them and move on from it.
‘Once the dust settles, though, everyone will think it has been a good and progressive season for Pompey – and it was nice to win on the last day at Fratton Park.’
– NEIL ALLEN