IN SAFE HANDS: Grant Smith was our Keeper of the Year last season for his exploits at Borehan Wood. PICTURE: Andy Nunn
Never let it be said that here at The Non-League Paper, we don’t always look after No.1s.
The clock is ticking before we hand out the decanters at the Buildbase National Game Awards 2019. Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge is our home for the afternoon on Tuesday May 14, and it’s already shaping up to be our best yet despite the exciting Non-League season being far from settled.
One thing is for sure, the recipient of the award in question won’t have a worrying moment when he gets his big hands on the coveted glass NGA.
There is no doubt that the grip will be firm on the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Year accolade. Grant Smith won it last season for his impressive performances between the sticks at Boreham Wood.
Smith kept 18 clean sheets and made some vital saves at vital times as Wood upset Blackpool in the FA Cup before finishing fourth in the National League. They then beat AFC Fylde and Sutton United in the play-offs to reach the Promotion Final where they took on Tranmere Rovers at Wembley.
As well as his club form, he also earned two England C call-ups for their International Challenge Trophy Final in Slovakia and a friendly against Wales – where his qualities shone through again.
Boreham Wood may not have reached the Football League, but Smith did, earning a move to Lincoln City, who are in line for promotion to League One.
Now we need your help to decide who is worthy of scooping this year’s prestigious prize. There are a lot of players in contention, including Leyton Orient’s Dean Brill, who has been a part of the best defence in the National League as the O’s bid to make a long-awaited return to the Football League.
Rob Lainton has kept 19 clean sheets for Wrexham so far – the most in the top-flight – while AFC Fylde’s Jay Lynch and Ebbsfleet’s Nathan Ashmore have also impressed.
At Step 2, the experienced Danny Lewis has starred in another impressive season at Brackley Town, while Warrington Town’s water-tight backline has been expertly marshalled by Tony McMillan.
Who’s your man with the golden gloves? Vote for your number one number one!
Tagged National Game Awards