A specially recorded video-message from one of the greats of Nottingham Forest’s past, plus an appearance by Notts County’s 2014/15 captain, lit up the annual presentation night of HUCKNALL WARRIORS youth football club.
John Robertson, dual European Cup winner and Scotland international, relayed the message and also donated a signed photo for one of the raffle prizes. While defender Haydn Hollis, who was Magpies skipper for a good part of last season, presented all the trophies and also conducted a question-and-answer session.
The Warriors lads were really inspired by the story of the 22-year-old, who hails from Selston and broke into professional football from playing in local youth teams,
Nearly 250 people saw more than 100 trophies handed out at the event, which was held at the John Godber Centre in Hucknall to celebrate another successful season for the forward-thinking club. The high-tech night featured a giant screen, special lighting, large sound system, photo booth, comedy videos and even a players’ lounge hosting activities such as a giant Scalextric car track.
“We put more than three months into arranging this night,” said Paul Burley, who is chairman of the club and also manages two of the teams.
“The video content we display takes weeks to create, but gives the night a real ‘Brits’-type feel. The players are welcomed on to the stage with a huge photo on the screen and sound-blast, making them feel very special.”
Formed in 2006, Warriors now have five teams, ranging from under-10s to a senior team playing in a Sunday league. The winners of their individual awards were:
UNDER-10S -- golden boot John Orton, players’ player Alfie Jacques, supporters’ player Jack Thompson, outstanding player Tyler Elliott, coach’s player Jack Thompson, manager’s player Ryan Wheat.
UNDER-13S -- golden boot Jack Bradley, players’ player Jude Preece, supporters’ player Rowan Smith, outstanding player Curtis Rigley, coach’s player Lewis Radford, manager’s player Jack Bradley.
UNDER-15S -- golden boot Max Chandler, players’ player Giovanni Marraffa, supporters’ player Stefano Mercatelli, outstanding player Giovanni Marraffa, manager’s player Sam Butler.
UNDER-16S -- golden boot Kieran Wilson, players’ player Ethan Jacques, supporters’ player Jordan Lidgett, outstanding player Jacob Day, coach’s player Ethan Jacques, manager’s player Owen Taylor-Parrott.
SENIOR TEAM -- goal of the season Ryan Gunn, captain’s award Liam Burley, players’ player Andreas Kokkinou, outstanding player Ren Cook, coaches’ player Liam Burley, manager’s player Macauley Spencer.
The award for the club’s team of the year went to the under-10s, with the runners-up being the under-13s. Both were league champions.