Today (Sunday 21st June) it has been announced that Hawks forward Lucas Rodrigues has won the Buildbase Isthmian Step 4 Player of the Year Award as part of this year’s National Game Awards from The Non-League Paper. This year, the awards voting and announcement has been done virtually owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a memorable season for arguably the most successful product of the Hawks’ youth system with Lucas finishing as our joint highest goalscorer in the Isthmian South East division finishing on 12 goals, three of which coming in just 23 minutes in our famous comeback at Three Bridges last year, whilst also chipping in with 14 assists. Hawks fans and players alike already knew how good he was this season, both naming him as their Player of the Season.
Naturally delighted about being named Player of the Year, Lucas said “I’m really, really happy. Although the season got cancelled as we were entering the final stages, both myself and the team put ourselves in a really good position to potentially go on and win promotion. I’ve learnt a lot since I made my debut aged 17 and the season that just passed was the one that I was ready and confident to get into, especially following the 18/19 season. I really wanted to push to get us back into the league that we were relegated from (Isthmian Premier League), so it is really nice to be recognised when you are playing well. I had been working hard throughout the week and also doing individual work and in this season it really paid off on a personal level and I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without my team mates, or without the coaching from Jude, who has coached me from the age of 15, Jonny and JP.”
“I was also really grateful to be recognised by the fans and my fellow players after winning the Player of the Year awards, so now to be recognised across all 3 Isthmian leagues is quite something and I didn’t think that I would be able to achieve that. It shows the progress I’ve made and the hard work I put in after making my senior debut aged 17.”
When asked about the success of the season, with the Hawks being on the edge of potential promotion, Lucas said “The players around me played a big part as if I’m not getting the ball, if I’m not getting the right passes in the right areas then I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did. Experienced players in the team like Abs (Ahmed Abdulla), Marv (Marvin Hamilton) and David Martin have all helped me a lot and their advice has been brilliant, however small the details may be, make a huge difference.”
When asked about the supporters, Lucas added “I think the best way to sum the fans up was the Guernsey trip away with such a huge following making the trip and taking the weekend off work to travel, it’s just incredible for this level. The cliché of them being the 12th man 100% applies, especially for away games or if the weather maybe isn’t the best, the Hawks fans give you that extra buzz, that extra oomph that you need. When you’re a goal down and the fans are still chanting your name and supporting you, when you then get that equaliser the fans erupt into a different level which just drives you on to get that winning goal.”
“I don’t have enough words to thank the Whitehawk fans enough, they’ve supported me since I’ve been in the youth team all the way to where I am now and they are absolutely brilliant.”
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