SIMON Eastwood was humbled to be selected by supporters and his teammates as Oxford United’s player of the season.

The goalkeeper was the big winner at the club’s awards night, held at the Kassam Stadium.

It came hours after he had completed his goal of playing every minute of the U’s season, an incredible 62 games in all competitions.

To be recognised by fans and his peers meant a lot to Eastwood.

He said: “They are both special because you want to impress the fans and your teammates.

“People have to remember it’s not just about playing on a Saturday, you are with your teammates every day, so for them to vote for me is great.

“It’s special to get the vote from the fans, it’s so nice to hear them singing your name.”

The Jack Casley Award went to Canice Carroll, who made his senior debut in December and impressed during the run-in last month.

But the 18-year-old was stunned to hear his name read out in front of the 300-strong audience, as he presumed fellow teenager Ryan Ledson would win.

He said: “I was quite surprised because we have such a young squad.

“He (Ledson)’s only 19 and you wouldn’t think that from his performances, because he’s so good.

“I was shocked to win and then worried about the speech – I get nervous talking in front of a lot of people I don’t know.

“But it’s a great achievement. The lads have been great to me and given me a platform to build on.”

Chris Maguire picked up the golden boot for finishing as the club’s top scorer.

A career-best 17 goals included a double to beat Swindon Town 2-0 in October, which were his favourite efforts in the haul.

But when it came to the best strikes of his tally, it was a toss up between a pair of inch-perfect free-kicks.

He said: “As a player I’ve scored more goals from open play at other clubs, but with my set pieces this season it’s probably between Middlesbrough away and Bolton at home.

“I couldn’t have placed them any better.”

John Lundstram and Demi Lambourne were honoured for their work in the community, while the latter’s teammate Ellie Noble was named the emerging talent in the women’s team.

The unsung hero award went to Richard Blackmore, who stepped down as academy manager in February after 17 years at United.

Arguably the most popular winner of the night went to club person of the year – kit man Mark Jarrett.

He said: “I’ve been supporting the club since the early 1980s and I’ve worked here for the last two years.

“I can’t describe what it means to me. I’m quite emotional about it.”

Rob Hall’s derby-winning strike at the County Ground in February was voted goal of the season from a shortlist of six on the night.

The winger said: “To score that type of goal in that type of game it was one of the best days of my career.

“On the day I wanted to pass it, but it just opened up and I thought ‘I’m going to hit this’.

“I hit it sweetly and then I was just waiting for the net to bulge.

“I heard the crowd before I saw it go in. That was crazy – it was so loud.”


Players’ player: Simon Eastwood

Andrew Knapton supporters’ player: Simon Eastwood

Jack Casley young player: Canice Carroll

Golden boot: Chris Maguire (17 goals)

Goal of the season: Rob Hall (Swindon a)

WSL Emerging Talent: Ellie Noble

Community Contribution: John Lundstram and Demi Lambourne

Club person: Mark Jarrett

Unsung hero: Richard Blackmore