The agony and the ecstasy of the season’s run-in still needs to be settled – but the Buildbase National Game Awards doesn’t necessarily wait for the trophies to be lifted high into the sky!
Indeed, we’re already putting our plans in place for the big day at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge on Tuesday May 14 and part of our job is to give you everything you need to know for when you feel ready to cast your vote.
This week we bring a run-down of the Mark Harrod Player of the Year and the Sportsbeat Young Player of the Year, which were won last summer by Macclesfield’s Danny Whitaker and Sutton United’s Tommy Wright respectively.
We certainly don’t envy you decision-makers when it comes to picking the person who takes the crown this year!
Player of the Year, remember, is an award which covers every player numbered two and above from the National League and the National League North and South – Goalkeepers and Step 3 and 4 have their own separate NGAs – and there’s plenty to choose from.
Rightly or wrongly, when picking any Player of the Year, the mind naturally often drifts towards the top of the scoring charts with the golden boys up and down the country grabbing the gongs as well as the goals.
It doesn’t have to be that way of course but the net finders have certainly set the tone for another thrilling season at Steps 1 and 2.
Leyton Orient’s Macauley Bonne and Eastleigh’s Paul McCallum have both netted over 20 league goals so far this season, while the ever-lethal Danny Rowe has enjoyed another superb campaign at AFC?Fylde and currently sits proudly at the top of the National League scoring charts with 25 goals to his name.
It’s not always just the strikers who shine, however. Defensive duo Carl Piergianni and Nathan Pond have been immense for Salford City, as has stalwart Shaun Pearson for Wrexham.
And then there’s the collective effort of surprise package Solihull Moors for which the likes of Darren Carter, Liam Daly and Jamey Osborne have been outstanding.
Or, how about free-scoring Matty Warburton, who is powering Stockport County’s promotion charge in National League North.
To be eligible for the Sportsbeat Young Player of the Year award, the nomination must be 23 years old or under – and again there’s plenty to choose from.
Our winner five years ago was a certain Andre Gray, who’s just helped Watford to the FA?Cup semi-finals, so the Young Player NGA?is certainly a healthy platform for greater things.
How about hot shot duo Marvin Ekpiteta and Josh Koroma who have helped fire Leyton Orient’s push towards a Football League return, or maybe England C international Tom White, who has been instrumental in Gateshead’s unlikely play-off push this season.
And then there’s Jake Andrews – on loan from Bristol City – who is firing Torquay United’s promotion push from?National League South.
If your club has a starlet that deserves to be rewarded then have your say and let us know!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to cast your vote or use #NGAvotes on twitter or via post to The Non-League Paper, Tuition House, St George’s Road, Wimbledon SW19 4EU