In a eagerly awaited occasion held at the Meadow Lane Sports Bar, and hosted by the legendary Colin Slater, the club brought down the curtain on a season that has seen various ups and downs during a campaign that will undoubtedly, lay dormant in the minds of supporters for months to come.
To start off the event, the Chief Executive of the club, Aileen Trew, who primarily acknowledged the fans for their continued support during a tough season regarding the club, clarified in depth the boards plans for next season and the rebuilding process that has already been commenced, with extensive meetings having recently been engaged with the manager, Ricardo Moniz, chief scout, and her husband Ray Trew (Notts County Chairman), to converse fresh ideas for next season. Aileen also revealed that the club have made their first signing of the summer in goalkeeper Roy Carroll for the new campaign, and, to conclude, formerly welcomed the trio of Ricardo, Dave Kevan and Dean Yates to the club.
Next onto the stage was the Head of Academy Mick Halsall, who emphasized the importance of producing players through the academy and into the first team. Mick explained the challenges of not only developing young players, but also, in keeping talented youngsters at the club from bigger sides. However, Mick elucidated the necessity the club envisages, which is to develop the right manner of players through the academy. Mick wishes to acquire players who have determination, personality, ability and quality, who ultimately, can progress into the first team, but expressed the requisite for patience in the academy’s quest to unearth the next break out star for Notts County. Mick enlightened the crowd with an intriguing update, that the academy has signed Jordan Richards, the son of Notts County legend Pedro Richards. Mick stressed that although Jordan has undeniable ability and potential, the academy must be patient with him, and make sure that he is developed in the right way in order to help further progress his footballing career.
Following this segment, Curtis Thompson was presented with the first award of the evening: The OSA young player of the year, as voted for by the clubs supporters. Elected Supporter’s association member John Terrington presented the shield to Curtis. Curtis acknowledged that he has significantly developed his performances over the course of this season, and put down his improvement in the campaign to both hard work on the training ground, and not letting negative responses lower his confidence. Curtis feels that his most comfortable position at present is in midfield, and would like to see a personal improvement on both his shooting ability and goal-scoring ratio for next season.
Subsequently, a glowing recognition of Kevin Pilkington’s incredible stat of 400th league appearances within English football, including making 144 starts for Notts County, was presented to the audience. Kevin spoke in part regarding his past career accomplishments, both with Notts County and other clubs, including winning the FA Youth Cup with Manchester United along side the ‘Class of 92’ that comprised of star names such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville. Kevin also spoke about the credentials of Sir Alex Ferguson, and voiced his admiration and respect for a man who gave him his first opportunity within football. Kevin expressed adoration for his current occupation at Notts County, and stressed that he will continue to give his all in any given capacity for the club.
Lastly, the second award of the evening was for goal of the season, as voted for once again by the clubs supporters. The winning goal was awarded to forward Garry Thompson, for his long-range strike against Barnsley in October last year. Garry conveyed that his goal scoring tally of twelve for the season was his best ever thus far in his career, but felt that he could’ve scored more based on the opportunities that he felt he was presented with during the course of the season. Garry expressed regret and disappointment that his goals could not keep the club in the division, but, on a personal note, was contented to get into goal scoring double figures for the season.
Below you will be able to view pictures taken from the event by Chris Buckley.