What a night. Harlee and Jota go head to head at Player of the Year awards.

8 May

What a night. With the dust not even settling on Sunday afternoon’s defeat by Blackburn Rovers at Griffin Park, the Brentford family reconvened for the season end Player of the Year awards.

With Natalie Sawyer hosting the ceremony , ably abetted by Peter Gilham, the night marked a wonderful end to a third successive season in the Championship. And a third successive top ten finish. It was something noted by Chairman Cliff Crown who, as with those who would follow him to the microphone, was quick to note not just the great job done by all at Brentford this season but, as importantly, the optimism with which we can view the forthcoming season.

No more so was this demonstrated than with the ‘breaking news’ (and there was even a graphic for this) that Jota’s contract extension had been triggered. He’s with us for 2017/18 ! He’s staying with us. This is just stunning news and received one of the biggest cheers of the night. As one would expect.

In terms of the awards, Harlee Dean scooped a brace including the big one – supporters’ player of the year. He gave an interesting pair of speeches, highlighting where he has come from over the last few years, despite the various levels of trust shown in him by Dean Smith’s respective predecesors. On the sending off against Blackburn his own admission was that he just wasn’t going to let them score, even though it wouldn’t have made a difference to us. If anything told you what you needed to know about his fighting spirit then here it was.

All being well the club will publish the video highlights of these over the next day or so. The positivity and goodwill emanating from not just Harlee and Cliff but also the likes of Dean Smith, Mark Devlin and a departing Alan McCormack in their speeches was almost tangible.

Ryan Woods was named player’s player of the year. Perhaps one of our unsung heroes, he’s somebody we almost take for granted. Obviously he’s good, very good. Yet it is only in his absence that we truly see how much he does, what value he is to this side and how conspicuous the gap created by his absence is.

There were touching stories from Yoann Barbet and Lasse Vibe in picking up their Community awards whilst Zain Westbrooke picked up the first honour of the night in being named B-team player of the year. But it was that man Jota who really took the limelight.

Firstly with his goal of the season award. That wondrous, wondrous moment against QPR at Griffin Park which Jake Bidwell, and the rest of their defence, are probably still having nightmares about. Well played Nico Yennaris and Josh Clarke in not making it a Jota 1-2 in this category as the one against Derby County failed to make the top 3. What a mark of the quality we have !

But secondly, and with due respect to Captain Harlee, perhaps the REAL big one of the night was a return for Hottie of the Year. Joining a list of previous winners including Andre Gray, Jonathan Douglas and Sam Saunders, the latest name to be added to that list is now Jota.

Let’s be honest, even for us married men that one was never in doubt. His hair, something most of us aspire to as much as his footballing ability, could have won that prize on its own. Here’s to seeing if he can scoop it in 2019/20.

What a season it has been. There’ll be more to come over the week. Until then, it simply remains to say a HUGE thank you to all involved in last night’s event. It really was enormous fun, the players were magnificent and it showed yet again (as if any reminder were needed) what a wonderful club we have.

THANK YOU Brentford FC.


Jota – the hair.

Nick Bruzon


8 Responses to “What a night. Harlee and Jota go head to head at Player of the Year awards.”

  1. peter lumley May 8, 2017 at 7:58 am #

    Thanks,Nick, for all your comments over the season. You get my vote as Blogger of the Year !!

    • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) May 8, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      I’ll second that although Brian Guest isnt bad either

      • nickbruzon May 10, 2017 at 6:57 am #

        BQ, many thanks. A huge nod to to Brian Guest though

    • nickbruzon May 10, 2017 at 6:58 am #

      Hugely apprecaited Peter. Apologies for the delay in catching up on the comments. The blogging is the nonsense – it is people’s opinions and the performances on the pitch (and off it) that make this all so interesting for all of us. And the stuff to talk about !

  2. Rob May 8, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Good stuff…there’s a real sense of optimism for Bees since the turn of the year. We have probably the strongest squad we’ve ever had and should we make another 3 or 4 signings we’ve got a real chance next season. One cautionary note, that 1 year extension for the King. If Jota is to be around next season then an extension to 2+ years really must happen in the summer as there is no way we’ll want to risk losing him on a free end of 2017 / 2018 season. Fingers crossed that gets sorted and I’m watching him at GP and not on MotD come August. CoyBs!

  3. Roger Greenaway ( sheffbee) May 8, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    I could kill you. Just choked on my coffee. The headline on my email read …….Harlee and Jota go. What are you playing at Bruzon !

    • nickbruzon May 10, 2017 at 6:56 am #

      Apologies Roger. The joy of cyber trickery. Thankfully, both look very much nailed on selections for next season. bring it one

  4. the ain't May 8, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

    and thank you suns of newrode

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