Julio Arca and Gavin Cogdon honoured at NPL awards ceremony

Julio Arca and Gavin Cogdon honoured at NPL awards ceremony

South Shields pair Julio Arca and Gavin Cogdon have had their outstanding form this season recognised after receiving honours at the Northern Premier League’s 2018 Player of the Year Awards.

A ceremony to celebrate the great and good of the league’s three divisions was held on Sunday at the Brooklands Holiday Inn, near Barnsley.

Julio was the star of the show, winning the coveted Evo-Stik NPL Show Fans’ Player of the Year accolade.

The midfielder was on a five-man shortlist for the award, which covers all three Evo-Stik divisions, alongside Basford United’s Liam Hearn, Altrincham’s Jordan Hulme, Grantham Town’s Lee Shaw and Scarborough Athletic’s Nathan Valentine.

Supporters were able to vote online for their favourite, and Julio was a popular winner.

Carl Finnigan was among 10 players who were highly commended for their performances, but just missed out on a place on the shortlist.

Arca was also named in the Evo-Stik North Division’s Team of the Year, alongside team-mate Cogdon.

They were among nearly 40 players honoured by Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder at the seventh running of the annual awards, still unique in the top levels of non-league football with the winners chosen by the league’s managers and fans.

As well as naming Hulme and Hearn as the two runners-up for the fans’ award behind Arca, former Alfreton, Halifax Town, Oxford United and Northampton boss Wilder also unveiled a Player of the Year and Young Player of Year in each of the NPL’s three divisions, as well the players chosen in three Teams of the Year.

More than 300 guests at the awards ceremony, broadcast live on Facebook and Twitter for the second season running, saw Altrincham’s Hulme, Scarborough Athletic’s Michael Coulson and Basford’s Liam Hearn collect the top Player of the Year accolades in the Evo-Stik League’s top flight and North and South divisions respectively.

Colne’s Alex Curran, Corby Town’s Jordan Crawford and Warrington Town’s Dylan Vassallo collected their division’s respective Young Player of the Year accolades, while the competition’s next generation of stars coming through the the NPL Football Academy were also honoured at the event for the third year running.

Originally the brainchild of former Manchester City goalkeeper and NPL stalwart Alan Ogley, Sunday’s awards also saw the NPL unveil its Top 100 Players of all-time and Team of all-time as part of the competition’s 50th anniversary celebrations this season.