07 May 2018 in General News
GRANT: “I WASN’T EXPECTING THE AWARD”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC goalkeeper Conor Grant picked up the perfect birthday present when he was chosen as the Manager’s Player of the Year award at the presentation evening at Woodhorn Lane on Friday.
With chairman Ian Lavery unable to attend due to working commitments, football secretary Gav Perry paid tribute to the bar staff, the club’s volunteers and the media team before announcing the trophy winners.
Whitehaven-born Grant, 28 on Thursday, was delighted with the honour but admitted that it came as a shock: “I’m very happy – but I wasn’t expecting it,” he said, “It’s nice to be appreciated – and like fine wine, I’m hoping to get better with age. However, I reckon I’ll come in for a bit of banter from the rest of the lads as they’ll dub me a bit of a ‘teacher’s pet!’”
Manager Steve Bowey said: “To be honest there was nothing between Conor and Wayne Buchanan for the award but my assistant Gareth McAlindon and myself couldn’t remember Conor making one mistake - which swayed the decision. You look at Lee McAndrew’s goal for us at home to Sunderland RCA where the ball went through the ‘keepers hands but Conor was fantastic for us and like Wayne Buchanan – two seasoned pros – their attitudes were fantastic. It was a flip of a coin but Conor just shaded it and it was fully deserved. It’s probably the hardest position to play on the football field because as a rule if a ‘keeper makes a mistake it can cost you a result.”
Wallsend-based Grant, a civil servant, is already looking ahead to August and the new season. The stopper missed Ashington’s final league game of the campaign, at home to North Shields after suffering a torn quad muscle injury: “Fingers crossed, I’m hoping to be fit when we return for pre season training,” he added.