Matt Clarke: 13 Portsmouth Player of the Season trophies? I don’t deserve it

Matt Clarke was named The News/Sports Mail's Player of the Season for a second year running. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke was named The News/Sports Mail's Player of the Season for a second year running. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Matt Clarke surveyed a clean sweep of end-of-season silverware and insisted: I didn’t deserve it.

The central defender was presented with a staggering 13 player of the season awards before Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Accrington.

Among them was The News/Sports Mail trophy – for a second-successive campaign.

Clarke joins the likes of Alan Knight, Noel Blake, Steve Claridge and David James in capturing the honour in consecutive seasons.

Polling 48 per cent of the supporter vote, he finished ahead of Jamal Lowe (20 per cent) and Craig MacGillivray (17 per cent).

But the modest 22-year-old disputed being a worthy recipient for all awards on offer.

He said: ‘I wasn't expecting that many!

‘I got warned about it Friday, so was probably expecting a couple, but there have been some players who’ve had really good seasons.

‘I wasn’t expecting that and I don’t think I really deserve it – it has not been a one-man show like that.

‘Genuinely, some lads have had really good seasons, scored a lot of goals and put in some top performances. I don’t think a clean sweep is maybe merited.

‘For players’ player of the season, I voted for Closey, just because it has been two seasons in a row where he’s had a frustrating start and come good. Plus he's a very good friend of mine!

‘There are three or four other contenders. Craig MacGillivray in his first season with us, Nayls won players’ player so has obviously had a really season, Jamz has scored as many goals as he ever has. These are really top performers.

‘I feel I’ve improved, though. You are always looking to improve – if you’re not improving then there’s something wrong.’

Clarke scooped five awards last season, including The News/Sports Mail’s trophy.

This time around, he was honoured by Northern Blues, Isle of Wight, Clan Pompey, Pompey StatesideScandinavian Branch, Chichester, Central Branch, South Wales Supporters, London, South West, Armed Forces Supporters’ Club and Disabled Supporters’ Club.

The sole accolade to elude the former Ipswich man is from the Canadian Supporters’ Club, which is to be presented to Craig MacGillivray at a date to be arranged.

He added: ‘My mum bought me a trophy cabinet last year, because they were just sitting on my window sill.

‘My mum said “You’ll need to put them somewhere or they’ll end up dusty or break”.

‘So I have a little trophy cabinet in my lounge and they all sit in that.

‘We’ll see if these others can fit in there, I should be all right!’