Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday April 14 2009
Gordon Taylor pays tribute to the PFA young player candidates
'There is an exciting array of talent vying for our Young Player of the Year award and it is particularly pleasing to see that five out of the six contenders are home-grown players.
Something else that has delighted me is that, as a former winger myself, there are three speedy wide men in the running for this prestigious prize – Aaron Lennon, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young.
Tottenham pace ace Lennon has had an exceptional second half to the season that has seen him make such a contribution to the Spurs’ side that he has played his way back into the international set-up, and excelled for England too.
It’s fair to say that after bursting onto the scene in such style, first with Leeds and later with Spurs, he took a couple of steps backwards, but he has fought his way back and has been on top of his game for club and country.
He’s not the biggest but as we say ‘they don’t make diamonds as big as bricks’ and if you have the pace that Aaron has you can beat the biggest of defenders. One area of his game that was questioned in certain quarters was his final ball, but he has worked on that and he has certainly improved in that department.
Whilst Aaron burns up the turf for Spurs, Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor do likewise for Aston Villa and to have both of them running at the back four for 90 minutes must be a nightmare for defenders.
Manager Martin O’Neill deserves so much credit for not only giving young, home-grown talent a chance, but keeping faith with them and Young and Agbonlahor are the jewels in the Villa crown, along with the likes of Curtis Davies, and several others.
We want clubs to invest in youth academies and youth programmes but to justify that you need to have success by bringing through players who go on to first team level, and Villa have done that in abundance and should be applauded.
Whilst both possess great pace and ability they are both goalscorers and have very bright futures in the game.'
Fans are able to vote by going to www.givemefootball.com and can win a signed shirt of the winning players from the evening.
About the PFA Player's Player and Young Player Awards
From the drop-down lists on http://www.givemefootball.com/vote, vote for who you think deserves to win the PFA Player's Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year Awards. The voting commences on April 14th. Each voter has until April 26th 2009 midday to register his or her vote.
The PFA Player's Player and Young Player Awards are the official awards of the Professional Footballers' Association.
*Please note that while your vote does not count towards the final outcome in the PFA Player's Player and Young Player of the Year Awards, you can still place your vote for the chance to win great prizes.
Date:Tuesday April 14 2009
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