Wrona and Gulliver at the double
Sunday 20 May 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 20 May 2018 at 20:19)
Gio Wrona and Hannah Gulliver both took home two awards as Royal Wootton Bassett Town held their Senior Section presentation on Sunday.
First team midfielder Wrona was crowned Manager's and Supporters' Player of the Year for his team, while Ladies team defender Gulliver picked up her side's Players' Player and Clubperson of the Year trophies.
The presentation celebrated the season for those teams as well as the Development side, while the overall Clubman of the Year prize was also presented.
The 2017-18 season was a mixed one for the first team, as they finished 15th in the Hellenic League Premier Division following a steep drop off in form after the turn of the year. However, there was still plenty to celebrate, most notably the run to the second round of the FA Vase, which matched the best run in the club's history.
A large turnover in players was one of the key reasons for the team's slip from a position in the top half at the season's halfway point to a finish in the lower part of the table.
However, two players – Wrona and central midfield partner Callum Wright – were two players whose performances proved to be of a consistently high standard throughout the entire campaign. And both wound up picking up awards.
As mentioned, the classy Wrona, who led the team by making fifty appearances, while scoring four goals, took the Manager's and Supporters' Player of the Year prizes.
Meanwhile, ever-dependable holding midfielder Wright, who scored twice in 48 games, was voted Players' Player of the Year.
Manager's Player of the Year: Gio Wrona
Players' Player of the Year: Callum Wright
Supporters' Player of the Year: Gio Wrona
After a hugely successful 2016-17 in which the team won promotion from the Gloucestershire County Women's League and lifted the Gordon Perrett Memorial Cup, their goals at the start of this season – their first playing in the South West Women's Football League Eastern Division – were rather more modest.
However, a year in which they reached the Wiltshire County Cup final and finished as runners-up in the league to Portishead Town by virtue of goal difference ensured Becky Gammon's side exceeded all expectations.
And keys to that success were Gulliver and promising youngster Emma Sykes.
Gulliver made the seamless transition to defence this season and performed at an improved, high level throughout the nineteen games that she played.
Sykes, meanwhile, was making the step up to senior ladies' football, having been a part of Bassett's successful Under 16 Girls side last season. And the central midfielder enjoyed a brilliant season, demonstrating maturity beyond her years. She was her team's leading appearance maker, playing 22 times, while scoring once.
Manager's Player of the Year: Hannah Gulliver
Players' Player of the Year: Emma Sykes
Clubperson of the Year: Hannah Gulliver
In their first season under the guidance of Paul Gerrish, the Development team enjoyed a solid campaign, which saw them finish tenth in the Wiltshire League Premier Division with a haul of 45 points.
With the focus on ensuring the majority of players were aged under 23, Bassett's young side competed valiantly against opponents who often featured numerous players with experience of playing at a higher level.
And that resulted in a string of brilliant victories against some of the teams finishing at the top end of the table, including a pair of triumphs over fifth-place Wroughton and wins against Cricklade Town and Shrewton United, who finished third and fourth respectively.
A number of players also worked their way into contention for the first team, with their Player of the Year award winners making thirteen appearances between them, both earning man of the match nominations in the process.
Their elevation was a result of their quality displays in the Wiltshire League. Central defender Harrison Gough, who was named Players' Player of the Year, was a rock in their backline, and also contributed five goals. And midfielder George Staten – named Manager's Player of the Year - proved a thorn in the side of opposition defences, scoring three times.
Ben Spackman picked up the team's Clubman of the Year award.
Manager's Player of the Year: George Staten
Players' Player of the Year: Harrison Gough
Clubman of the Year: Ben Spackman
Clubman of the Year
The Clubman of the Year prize is considered the most prestigious reward within the club, being presented to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution off the pitch.
And for his hard work and huge success in growing Bassett's Veterans section, Nick Warren was a deserved recipient of this year's prize.
Thanks to his tremendous efforts, the Veterans have had 91 players take part for them in their weekly "Friday Footy" sessions since November 2016, with 61 of these able to be classed as regulars.
On top of this, the Veterans continue to enter the Wiltshire FA Veterans Flexi League, in which they finished as runners-up in the Winter, while the "Super Sunday" event held in collaboration with the RAF FA Veterans in April was a great success, with over £800 being raised for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Nick has also helped secured vital funding to help support the Veterans section.
Congratulations to all award winners – after a break for the summer, here's to a successful 2018-19 season for all of our senior sides!