It's awards season at Leeds United. The club held its annual End of Season Awards Dinner on Saturday night to award the very best Elland Road had to offer in the 2015/16 season. We will be undertaking an extensive end of season review over the coming weeks, including our very own Through it All Together awards, but United’s official awards seem like a good place to start. So let’s all forget about that disappointing performance against Charlton Athletic from Saturday and indulge in some happy memories.
Now to the winners.
Player of the Year: Charlie Taylor
Taylor topped the club’s vote on Saturday night and was presented his award by United legend Norman Hunter. The 22-year-old beat out fellow nominees Mirco Antenucci, Lewis Cook, Liam Bridcutt and Gaetano Berardi to claim United’s most prestigious annual award.
Taylor has been a joy to watch for the entire campaign and been the centrepiece of a resilient United squad. His commitment to the cause has been a feature during a trying season and this highlight optimises Taylor’s heart.
Despite missing chunks of the season with glandular fever, Taylor has enjoyed a breakthrough season and cemented a regular spot in Steve Evans’ first eleven. "I’m pleased with how my season’s been, considering everything that’s gone on," Taylor told Leeds’s official website. "I do feel I’ve improved hugely since I got my chance here last season." Taylor is the third Leeds Academy product to win the award in the last four years, joining Alex Mowatt (2015) and Sam Byram (2013) as home-grown winners.
The official club gong capped a wonderful weekend for Taylor, who was also presented with the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Player of the year award prior to Saturday’s contest with Charlton. We will have more on the Post’s awards tomorrow.
I’m sure Massimo Cellino is so proud right now, especially considering he claimed responsibility for Taylor’s breakthrough at Leeds United last year.
Young Player of the Year: Lewis Cook
No surprise here. Considering Cook was just crowned the best young player in England, I think he deserves this award. This website is developing a serious man crush on Cook and it is well deserved. For all his accolades and achievements, the most impressive aspect of Cook’s season has been his ability to improve on his performances, even as expectations have grown to unhealthy levels. This marks the second season Cook has taken home this award. Now back to the Lewis Cook hype video!
Players’ Player of the Year: Stuart Dallas
The Northern Ireland international capped a wonderful debut season at Leeds by collecting the players’ awards. After coming across from Brentford last summer, Dallas has played a key role for United and been a consistent force this season, appearing in all but two league contests.
The highlight of Dallas’ season was undoubtedly his brace in United's victory over Birmingham City last month, headlined of course by a tremendous volley – which leads nicely into the next award.
Goal of the Year: Lewis Cook vs Fulham
There were three contenders for this award. First, the aforementioned wonder strike from Dallas against Birmingham City.
The second contender came from skipper Sol Bamba against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
And finally, Cook’s supernova strike against Fulham in February.
On sheer excitement alone, Cook is a deserved winner. But the fact he left every Leeds United fan gushing over this otherworldly strikes makes it a no-brainer.
As for miss of the season (ALERT FAKE AWARD), we present everyone’s favourite Kiwi. Sorry New Zealand, I can’t help myself!
Bobby Collins Unsung Hero Award: Mandy Ward, Leeds United Ticket Office
Named after club legend Collins, the unsung hero award recognises a member of the Leeds United family who has gone beyond the call of duty for the club. This year saw Mandy Ward of the Ticket Office, a 31 year servant of United, claim the famous award.
Well done Mandy, you the real MVP.
Did you disagree with the team award winners? Let us know in the comments. And vote in our poll below too. We'll have more here at Through It All Together throughout the week, including a summary of the YEP awards and a preview of our final game at Preston. Check back tomorrow, and thanks for reading.