Blackpool and Fleetwood players up for top north west awards
Blackpool defender Tom Aldred and Fleetwood midfielder Jimmy Ryan have been shortlisted in the League One Player of the Year category at the 2016 MBNA Northwest Football Awards.
Both are named on the seven-man shortlist for the annual regional awards ceremony to be staged for the fifth time at Lancashire County Cricket Club in November.
Despite the club’s relegation from League One last season, the 25-year-old centre-back caught the eye with a number of impressive performances.
The Bolton-born defender has made more than 50 appearances for the club since signing from Accrington Stanley in January of last year – initially on loan – before signing permanently the following month.
His dominant displays led to him being voted Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.
Ryan has also been nominated after his impressive displays saw him voted the club’s Player of the Season at Highbury’s end-of-season awards.
The 27-year-old played a vital role as the club retained their League One status last season, having joined rom Chesterfield the previous summer.
Aldred and Ryan will face competition from Bury’s Peter Clarke, Ben Garratt of Crewe, Oldham’s Liam Kelly, Rochdale’s Josh Lillis and Wigan’s David Perkins.
Both Blackpool and Fleetwood will also have representation in the Rising Star of the Year category, with Bright Osayi-Samuel shortlisted for the Tangerines and Ash Hunter nominated for Uwe Rosler’s team.
Osayi-Samuel and Hunter are just two of 22 players in contention for the award.
Tricky winger Osayi-Samuel, aged just 18, made 26 appearances for Blackpool last season and has gone on to feature another seven so far this term.
The youngster, who came through the youth-team ranks at the club, is vying with Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Wigan Athletic’s Max Power and Morecambe’s former Seasider Tom Barkhuizen to win the award.
Meanwhile, Fleetwood’s 20-year-old striker Ash Hunter has been shortlisted after netting seven times in all competitions last season.
The forward, who has already notched three goals this season, joined from Northern Premier League side Ilkeston in January last year after being released by Burton Albion in the summer of 2014.
Hunter, who was voted the club’s Young Player of the Season, said he is “delighted” to be nominated for the award.
He said: “It has been a great 12 months ,and when you look at some of the names I’m up against it is a great honour. Hopefully this season will be even better.”
Hunter committed his future to the club last month, signing a new three-year contract.
The awards will be determined by a public vote, and you can cast your vote now at www.northwestfootballawards.com/voting
The winners will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony at the Point, Emirates Old Trafford, on Monday, November 14.