By George Williamson
Here at Tranmere Talk, we’ve put out heads together and come up with nominations for a variety of end-of-season award categories including Best Signing, Best Goal, Player of the Season, and we’ll be justifying each of our personal nominations in the coming days.
First up, here are George’s:
Best Goal – Adam Buxton vs Maidstone (A)
I came under a lot of fire for this one when we put it to the public, but I’m standing by it.
Goal of the Season can be a very subjective topic, and many use it to vote for the best quality goal of the season, and obviously a penalty wouldn’t fall under that category.
But I opted for Buxton’s penalty against Maidstone because of its importance and significance to the season.
Rovers were 2-1 down with just seven minutes to go, and with the game – and arguably their season – on the line, they pulled a goal back through an own goal.
Seconds later, Connor Jennings had won a penalty and up stepped Buxton. It felt like a huge moment, one of those season defining ones that can make or break a campaign.
With all the pressure in the world on his shoulders, Buxton fired it into the bottom corner to steal all three points for the Super Whites, and the visiting fans were sent into a state of euphoria, as was I.
That was the goal I celebrated hardest this season, and that’s what defines the ‘best’ goal, for me.
Best Game – Maidstone United 2-3 Tranmere Rovers
See above. Give me a last minute winner over a 4-0 win every day of the week.
Most Underrated Player – Ollie Norburn
Norburn’s contribution to this Tranmere Rovers side this season cannot be overstated, and yet I still feel he belongs in this category because he’s frankly not talked about enough.
He’s been a mainstay in the side, but as have others. What makes Norburn stand out in this regard is that he HAD to be available. There were times where Tranmere literally didn’t have anybody else.
The best ability is availability, and Norburn hasn’t just been that, but he’s also put in some really solid and robust performances in the heart of the midfield, and as alluded to earlier, that cannot be overstated.
Best Moment – Nine points in the last week of December
Another left-field choice here, but one that again felt very important to defining Rovers’ season.
The Christmas schedule is often hectic with a run of fixtures practically back-to-back, teams rarely get a chance to rest, re-group and recover in the month of December.
For Rovers this season, it was no different. But they dealt with the busy run of games extremely well.
Which brings us to my ‘Best Moment’, which was the seven day period between December 23rd and December 30th, in which Rovers won nine points, scored eleven goals and conceded just twice after beating Sutton, Fylde and Guiseley by scorelines of 3-1, 4-1, 4-0.
Best Signing – Ollie Banks
As I alluded to earlier, Norburn has had a string of midfield partners this season, and during the period that Rovers had a dearth of available central midfielders, they added Banks on loan from Oldham, and he was arguably Rovers’ best player during his short stint at the club.
He ended up playing just eight games, scoring once, but you could tell during the games he played that he was a class above anyone else on the pitch. The fact Oldham recalled him in January and sent him to League Two Swindon Town, in which he has already scored three times in just ten games, tells you exactly how much better Banks is for this level.
Still, Rovers weren’t complaining.
Player of the Season – Adam Buxton
Finally, a category in which I picked the winner.
Adam Buxton has been a mainstay in this excellent and settled Rovers defence this season, appearing in 30 games and scoring twice.
He is Mr Reliable for the club at the back, is versatile enough to play anywhere along the defensive line, and also offers an attacking threat going forward with regular marauding runs that fans have come to love.
— Tranmere Talk (@TranmereTalk) March 12, 2018
With 48% of the fans’ vote, Buxton is both mine, and your, Player of the Season!