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ECFA end of season player awards announced

15 April 2020

We are delighted to announce the 2019/20 ECFA Player of the Season for our male and female teams. The award is presented to the player (s) who has made outstanding progress over the course of the season both on and off the pitch. It is awarded in memory of Luke Buckingham, former ECFA coach and founder of Team BC (now Team BTC) at Bridgwater & Taunton College, who died of leukaemia in 2015, aged just 30. Luke’s dad Bob Buckingham said: “Luke was really special because he believed in young people and their ability to be better, on all levels, than they ever imagined they could be. "The award embodies Luke’s spirit, his legacy and his inherent belief that #betterneverstops - a mantra that has been adopted by his employers, Bridgwater & Taunton College and by Bridgwater Town.” This year’s recipients of the prestigious award are Dylan Jelley (Chichester College) and Georgie Barbour-Gresham (Exeter College). Dylan Jelley (above) represented the national team for the second year in succession and was awarded the Caput Mundi player of the tournament for his performances in Italy. He was involved in every ECFA fixture and demonstrated leadership qualities throughout. Whilst there were other players who produced good performances, Dylan was the most reliable and consistent. Dylan said: "It was a privilege to represent the ECFA team this year and I am very proud to have won the award which caps off an exciting and very enjoyable year with the squad. I want to thank everyone who was a part of it for making it such a good time and making memories I won’t forget." ECFA Men’s Assistant Manager Andy Jones said: “I think it’s fair to say that his peers looked up to him not just on the field, but off it too. Dylan possessed several qualities, including the ability to ask questions and take advice, which made him a pleasure to coach. I am sure he will go on to play at a good level and we will all be tracking his progress.” Georgie Barbour-Gresham (above) proudly captained the national side throughout the WSL Academy Cup campaign and was vice captain for the tour of Italy. She too did not miss one fixture and proved to be a leader on and off the pitch, always encouraging every member of the squad. Georgie said: “I’m very honoured to receive this award, as it’s in memory of someone who loved the game as much as I do. Luke’s story is truly inspiring, and his belief that better never stops is definitely something I live by in my football. I’m over the moon with this achievement and I will try to use it as a springboard into wherever my future career takes me.” ECFA Women’s Head Coach Keith Boanas said: “Georgie fully deserves this honour having made an impact from the trials onwards, adapting quickly to the environment and step up in level. "She is a vociferous and determined character on the pitch with both technical and physical attributes. I think I speak for all our staff when I say she is a pleasure to coach and work with and we all look forward to seeing her develop further in her career.”