Parkinson's delight as Darby scoops top prize at Bradford City player of the year awards (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Phil Parkinson's delight as Stephen Darby scoops top prize at Bradford City player of the year awards
PRIZE GUY: Stephen Darby shows off the T&A/JCT600 player of the year trophy at last night’s awards bash. He also won the players’ player award after being voted for by every one of his team-mates, not to mention a glut of other trophies
Stephen Darby was hailed for his “win at all costs” attitude after being named the Telegraph & Argus/JCT600 City player of the year.
The right back, who started every game of the season, was the overwhelming choice of the fans at last night’s awards ceremony at Valley Parade.
Darby’s 100 per cent appearance record means that he has played 73 consecutive times since being rested for a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie in January last year. The last league game he missed was back in November 2012.
Phil Parkinson, who presented him with the coveted trophy, felt his success would go down well with the whole squad because he is such a big character.
He said: “Everybody’s pleased Darbs has got his reward – he thoroughly deserves it. His consistency throughout the two seasons he’s been here has been outstanding.
“He’s a player who has improved and will continue to improve. He’s a fantastic character during the week at the training ground and has a big influence on the other players round him.
“He’s professional and focused and wants to win. We speak about mentality all the time and he has the perfect attitude for a footballer and a defender in particular.
“He senses danger and he wants to win at all costs. He’s like that in training every day and his professionalism is infectious.
“He’s one of the players who sets the tone in training each day and those sort of people are very valuable.”
Like skipper Gary Jones last year, Darby also doubled up by winning the Telegraph & Argus most consistent player award – and pretty much every other award on offer last night too.
Parkinson is not surprised by such a high level of consistency.
The City boss added: “You’ve got to remember he played 70 games before he came to us and they were all at League One level.
“He played for Swindon in the play-offs at the age of 21 so I knew he had good experience higher up.
“It took me a while to get that signature obviously but he understood the potential at Bradford. Everything we spoke about in that initial meeting has been fulfilled.”
Other award winners were: Players’ player, Friends of Bradford City, Shipley Bantams, White Abbey and Skipton Bantams player of the year: Stephen Darby; Goal of the year: Kyel Reid v Walsall; Youth team player of the year: Oliver McBurnie; Supporters Trust young player: Carl McHugh.
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