Thu, 09 May 2019
HUNGERFORD Town defender Marvel Ekpiteta clinched a clean sweep of awards at the club’s annual end-of-season presentations last week.
The 23-year-old won the Manager’s, Players’ and Supporters’ Player of the Year awards after a tremendous season for the club.
And Ekpiteta praised the support from manager Ian Herring and assistant Kevin Watson for their support throughout the campaign.
He said: “This has been my best season in football so far and that’s because of Ian and Kev and the confidence they have in me.
“They are both great coaches so throughout the season they have always told us we would stay up and be OK, so we just wanted to repay them for the faith they had in us.
“They have helped me develop, so it was a privilege to win those awards to cap off a great season.”
Ekpiteta played a key role as Hungerford retained their National League South status on the final day of the season after drawing 1-1 with East Thurrock United.
He said: “It was really pleasing for us to avoid relegation because we worked hard all season to reach our goal, so it was a great feeling.”
And the centre-back felt that the belief within the squad was key to helping them avoid relegation from the league.
The former East Thurrock defender said: “As a team we never give up, so we always believe we will get something out of the game, no matter who we are playing against.
“It’s a real family club and all the staff and fans are really close, which makes it such a great club.”
Town manager Ian Herring believes Ekpiteta deserved the awards.
He said: “He has improved throughout the whole season, just like the team, and it’s his first season at this level.”
Herring made the decision to hand Ekpiteta the captain’s armband and said: “He has shown maturity beyond his years and he has been a pleasure to work with, not only on the pitch but off it too – he leads by example.
“We have become very resilient during the back end of the season and he has been a huge part of that.”
Alfy Whittingham capped off an excellent season at Bulpit Lane by picking up the Young Player of the Year award.
Herring said: “He has developed over the course of the season and although there were a few that could have won it, he slightly edged it.”
Meanwhile, striker Danilo Orsi-Dadomo ended the season on nine league goals to pick up the Golden Boot award.
Elsewhere Norman Matthews and Sid Webb won the Crusaders Lifetime Achievement award, Paul Stevens picked up the Ray Brown Award, Ciaran Morrison collected the Merit Award, while Daphne and Alwyn Gibby collected the Club Persons of the Year Award.
Michael Luyambula, Josh Martin and Jake Weaver who all spent time at Hungerford from Birmingham City attended the awards evening.
Herring said: “It was lovely and it goes to show the good work Birmingham are doing – it was great to see all of the lads turn up.”