On the eve of the new season as an under 12’s team, Roffey Robins Atletico looked back on the previous season as under 11’s and celebrated their end of season awards via YouTube.  The video was hosted by Manager, Ricardo Moratalla, as he and his coaching team presented awards to four deserving winners.  The video was also an opportunity to look back fondly on the oddest of football seasons, that started with the move up to 9-a-side football, another strong performance in the Plate competition and a team training session and overnight stay at the English FA’s headquarters at St George’s Park before it came to a dramatic halt.
 
In that shortened season, which was also heavily affected by the weather, Atletico saw their players develop as individuals and as a group.  They had some great wins, scored some wonderful goals and really developed into a team that passed, moved, and played football the ‘right way’.  The coaching team had a difficult task in determining the award winners as there were many players who were discussed.  However, three awards were agreed, plus the Players’ Player award, which the players voted for individually. 
 
The Winners
 
Players’ Player of the Year – Theo Botevyle
 
Theo is the goalkeeper and had an outstanding season.  His saves in the Plate quarter final penalty shoot out will live long in the memory. He works hard in training and his performances on a Saturday are first class – many of the team’s victories have been as a result of his performances.  His team mates resoundingly recognised his performances in the vote for this award which highlights the regard that everyone holds for him.  Theo said “Being voted players’ player is a privilege.  I think it is a true reflection of the bond we all have and I am really happy.”
 
Spirit of Atletico Award – Luca Harris
 
The Spirit award is given to the player who best encapsulates the values of Roffey Robins Atletico.  It goes to a player who works hard, tries to play the right way, treats his opposition and officials with respect, supports his team mates and always does his best.  Luca has massively improved as a player in the last year, but equally importantly models the behaviours that the coaching team would want to see from all players.  Luca said “I am really proud to receive the Spirit of Atletico Award and I am really excited about the new season ahead for our team.”
 
Manager’s Award – Joshua Bellamy
 
Joshua, or JB to his team mates, possesses extreme pace, strong technical skills and is a deft goalscorer.  More importantly, he always plays with the right attitude, works hard, trains hard and is a positive example to his team-mates.  Ricardo believes that there is plenty more to come from JB and that he will continue to be a vital cog in the Atletico machine.  JB said “I am very proud of receiving the Manager’s award.  Thank you to all the coaches for helping me improve my game.”
 
Most Improved Player – Will Anderson
 
In previous seasons Will had been used as a utility player – someone who could be relied on to do a job anywhere on the pitch.  Last summer he decided he wanted to make a position his own, and has worked to become the team’s left back.  He has improved massively during the course of the year, performing a crucial role and always gives one hundred percent – in both training and matches.  Will said “I’ve worked as hard as I can to try and become the best left back in the team and make it difficult for the manager to leave me out.  This award means a lot to me and I will continue to give everything I can for Atletico.”
 
Footballer of the Year – Aaron Woodhams
 
Aaron is the Atletico captain, left winger, goalscorer and talisman.  The Footballer of the Year award is a new award to simply recognise the best player.  That is measured not only in technical ability, but in the way they play, their attitude in training, the way they support and motivate their team mates and their relationship with coaches, officials and the opposition.  Aaron was the deserved winner on any measure and has rightfully been recognised as the first Footballer of the Year.  Aaron said “I am very pleased to be the first winner of the Footballer of the Year Trophy.  Thank you coaches for voting for me.”
 
Reflecting on the season, Ricardo said “Last season will live forever in the memory – we went from training like the England team at St George’s Park, to national lockdown in less than two weeks.  During the lockdown period the team continued to work on individual training sessions through Zoom sessions and then we returned as soon as we were able to.  I think that what pleases me most about our team is the spirit and togetherness we have, and that was never more important than it has been over the last six months.  I’d like to thank my coaching team and parents committee, who help me oragnise everything we do and make sure that we continue to give the best experiences and create memories for our players.  For me as manager, I get real pleasure out of seeing the improvements in our team and am deligted that we are able to play football again – something which we all missed during lockdown.  Finally, I’d like to congratulate every one of our award winners – every one of them are thoroughly deserved.
 

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