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Suzanne Geldard: Awards show team strength
TO coin the phrase of former Burnley boss Steve Cotterill ‘opinions are like ‘backsides’ – we’ve all got them’.
I’ve toned the wording down a tad for family newspaper purposes, but the sentiment is spot on.
Opinions are what make life interesting, especially football life. And this week’s events proved just how much opinion has been split over who Burnley fans feel should be picked out as their player of the year.
A tweet I sent out asking fans to tell me their choice for player of the year prompted three different names in the first three responses.
By the end of the day almost the entire regular starting XI had been named.
It was a similar scenario at the supporters’ clubs’ player of the year awards night, where Sam Vokes was the overall winner but Danny Ings, Jason Shackell, Kieran Trippier and Scott Arfield all picked up prizes too.
That might seem a surprise to those on the outside looking in, after Ings was named the Championship player of the year by the Football League and FourFourTwo magazine and made the PFA team of the year, as voted for by his Championship peers.
But it is a clear indication of the strength in the group, and how much promotion has been built around a team effort.
Manager Sean Dyche hopes they will go on to be regarded by fans as legends in years to come. Just as Ian Britton still is.
There was a particularly poignant moment before Tuesday’s event got underway as the former midfielder passed Vokes in a doorway.
Britton looked up as the 6ft 2ins striker held the door open for him (he is ‘Little Brit’ afterall).
Vokes was unaware of the significance of the encounter, perhaps until the pair shared the stage at the end of the night, after Britton midfielder received a special award from the supporters groups, 27 years after his decisive goal against Orient kept the Clarets in the Football League.
The class of 2013/14 may never be held in such great esteem for as long as the club’s saviour has been.
But they have all played their part in having a lasting place in the club's history books, which is why fans have found it so hard to single out one.
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