Rowe steals the show

Eastbourne Borough award winners
Eastbourne Borough award winners
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Every manager will tell you that football is a team game but their was one player that stood head and shoulders above the rest for Eastbourne Borough this season - Ollie Rowe.

He may only be 20-years-old but but there is no denying the fact that the talented young defender is the finished article.

Ollie Rowe receives the Manager's player of the year award from Tommy Widdrington

Ollie Rowe receives the Manager's player of the year award from Tommy Widdrington

Rowe was entrusted with the captain’s armband this season after the arrival of management duo Tommy Widdrington and Alan Kimble.

The decision at the time raised a few eyebrows among supporters, and perhaps senior players, but the former Old Town Youth player has accepted the additional responsibility in his stride.

Rowe’s assured displays at the heart of the defence helped the club avoid the dreaded back-to-back relegation and saw him scoop all three player of the year awards.

Before the Boro’s final league game of the season against Salisbury, Rowe received the fans’ player of the year award.

On Friday night at a packed Prioy Lane presentation evening Rowe was on stage twice, first to collect the players’ player of the year trophy and then to complete a hat-trick he received the manager’s player of the year.

Widdrington said, “It was a big ask to make Ollie the captain but he has done everything we could have asked of him.

“There is no doubt he has the talent but there is a lot more to being the captain than that

“For a lad of 20 he has shouldered the extra reponsibility and fair to play to him.”

Before the awards chairman Len Smith gave special thanks to departing Priory Lane favourites Matt Smart and Matt Crabb who have clocked up more than 1000 appearances between them.

Club captain Ben Austin received praise for stepping into the breach and taking over the managerial reigns following the sacking of Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood.

Smith said, “We began the season quite well but then we hit a poor run of form and we felt it was necessary for a change in management but we thank Garry and Nick for their tremendous service to the club.”

The new management team achieved the target of avoiding relegation with one game to spare which pleased Smith.

He added, “We did not want to slip through the trap door again. It happened to Lewes and Bognor and we were determined not to let it happen to us.

“It was a tough year but we remain the top team in Sussex.”