INSPIRATIONAL Wes Fogden will have a crucial role to play for the Hawks in the National League next season.
The talented midfielder was in top form throughout the 2017-18 campaign.
He showed his quality on a consistent basis and manager Lee Bradbury chose him as his player of the season.
The character and energy he brings saw him stand out even during a season when it was such a tough call for the Hawks boss to pick a winner.
Bradbury said: ‘I gave my manager’s award to Wes Fogden but as I said on the speech on the night, they all deserve it. For me it was very hard to pick, they all had a shout of it.
‘Ryan Young kept 23 clean sheets, Rory Williams was phenomenal up and down. Mike Carter has been great and the whole defence. Jason Prior scored 23 goals, you could go on.
‘For me Wes Fogden is the pinnacle of our team. He works hard, he’s energetic, he sparks the team into life.
‘When people are tired he just goes up a gear and he is everything that I am about. I just love having him around the team.
‘He’s got another season on his contract and we will need him next year. He’ll be a big player for us.’
It’s been a fantastic season for Fogden who has battled serious knee injury troubles during his career having featured for Pompey, Bournemouth, Bognor and two spells with the Hawks.
Whenever Bradbury’s team needed a pep up Fogden was always there to make sure the energy levels were raised and team got on the front foot.
The title success was all the sweeter for him and having served the Hawks so well, originally in 2009 to 2011 and then again from 2016, it meant a lot.
Bradbury added: ‘It’s special. Foggy has done both cruciate knee ligaments.
‘He came to us, he approached the club and asked could he come in and train to get fit. He knows the physio, he knows Derek Pope (Hawks chairman) well and he knows me from my time I bought him at Bournemouth.
‘I think he trusted us as a club, as a group, and he just wanted to come on board.
‘For him to contact us was great, we couldn’t believe our luck. So we get him in, get him fit, get him training and the rest is history.
‘He scored a massive goal for us last year against Bognor to pretty much win us the league, so going forwards he’s just got better and better.’
Looking ahead to the new season in the National League Bradbury knows it is imperative any players he signs fit in well with the excellent group he already has.
The way they always stuck together as a team and worked so hard for each other proved crucial in their title success and that sort of spirit has taken time to grow.
Bradbury added: ‘I haven’t managed a group of players like this. We’ve got a special bond at the moment and that is why it is so important we do our best to keep it.
‘We have got good quality but the biggest thing was the unity and trust.
‘It takes a long time to get that. You can’t buy that. It is something that comes over time and we don’t want to take that apart.’