National honour for highly-touted Portsmouth hope linked with Sheffield United

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Toby Steward’s season has hit a new high after he claimed a national award for his excellent form.

The Pompey keeper has been named Step 3 Goalkeeper of the Season, following an impressive term spent with Gosport Borough in the Southern League Premier South.

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The award is recognition for the 19-year-old’s continuing development, which was underlined as Borough made it to the play-offs, before suffering a controversial defeat to Salisbury this month.

Pat Suraci and Joe Lea’s side were dealt a late, late 2-1 defeat after the referee adjudged a Charlie Wassmer tackle was in the box, despite the challenge taking place outside the area. The penalty was dispatched by Noah Coppin.

That brought a close to a season in which Steward kept 15 clean sheets and got 40 appearances under his belt, as he was named Borough fans’ player of the season.

That led to his nomination for the Non League Bible award, which was voted for by supporters.

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Steward came out on top from a shortlist of 10, which also included former Pompey Academy keeper Ryan Hall, as he finished in front of Chesham’s Zaki Oualah and Needham Market’s Marcus Garnham.

It continues a positive period for Steward after the former Henry Cort Community College pupil was handed a new two-year deal at the start of the month, with Pompey holding an option to extend that agreement by 12 months.

The teenager, who has attracted interest from the likes of Sheffield United in the past, has also picked up international recognition this term, after being selected for an England goalkeeper training camp at St George’s Park.

Speaking of the season after being handed his new deal, Steward told Pompey’s official site: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant to sign a new contract and I’m so grateful to have the chance to stay with this great football club.

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‘I’ve really enjoyed this season out on loan with Gosport and I can’t wait to keep pushing on and improving.

‘The chance to play regular first team football has grown my confidence, providing experience and a chance to show what I can do.

‘I’ve also been able to work regularly with Joe (Prodomo), Will (Norris), Matt (Macey) and Ryan (Schofield) and have learnt a lot from all of them.’

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