Southampton skipper José Fonte was the big winner at the Garmin Player Awards dinner on Wednesday night as he scooped the Fans’ Player and Players’ Player of the Season awards.
Fonte follows in the footsteps of former captain Adam Lallana, who won both awards following his efforts during the 2013/14 campaign.
The defender started all but one of Southampton’s games in the Premier League, amassing 44 appearances in total for Ronald Koeman’s side this season.
The captain has led by example throughout the campaign, playing his part in keeping 15 clean sheets and helping Saints to their highest-ever Premier League finish - whatever the result against Manchester City on Sunday.
There were three other prizes handed out on Wednesday night, with Victor Wanyama, Matt Targett and Shane Long all being recognised for their efforts this season.
Wanyama took home the President’s Choice Award, while Targett was named winner of the Young Player of the Season Award, sponsored by Hampshire Collegiate School. The hotly-contested Vision Accendo Goal of the Season Award was won by Long for his goal against Aston Villa.
The first award of the night was the Garmin Players’ Player of the Season, which was voted for by every player who has represented the first team this season. Fonte was chosen by his teammates as the most influential player this season.
Garmin Players’ Player of the Season: José Fonte
The Young Player of the Season Award, sponsored by Hampshire Collegiate School, was the next accolade to be handed out on the night. This award recognised the efforts of one of Saints’ younger members of the squad and went to Targett, who made 12 appearances for the first team this season following his debut against Millwall in the Capital One Cup.
Hampshire Collegiate Young Player of the Season: Matt Targett
Honorary President Terry Paine MBE was then on hand to present the President’s Choice prize to the player he felt had contributed the most to the club’s success this season. Jack Cork was the winner of the award last year and Paine went for a midfielder once again, as Wanyama collected the gong.
President’s Choice Award: Victor Wanyama
The penultimate award presented on the night was the Vision Accendo Goal of the Season. After a very close race following votes from those at the ceremony and supporters online, the final three were as follows:
3rd: Nathaniel Clyne vs Arsenal (A) - 13%
2nd: Graziano Pellè vs QPR (H) - 29%
1st: Shane Long vs Aston Villa (H) - 30.7%
Vision Accendo Goal of the Season: Shane Long vs Aston Villa (H)
In the end, Long's goal at the weekend against Aston Villa finished just ahead of Graziano Pellè's overhead kick against QPR, succeeding Adam Lallana’s goal against Hull City last season as the club’s top strike of the campaign.
The final award of the night was the Fans’ Player of the Season, sponsored by Parkhouse Hampshire. Fonte finished ahead of Morgan Schneiderlin and goalkeeper Fraser Forster as the fans’ pick for Saints’ best player for the campaign.
Parkhouse Hampshire Fans’ Player of the Season: José Fonte