Essex Spartans officially ended their 2010 campaign in style with a glittering presentation evening to celebrate the huge steps forward taken by the team and to celebrate the outstanding contributions made by their players and coaches.
The event, held at the White Hart in Upminster, was a huge success, with a buffet, raffle, and entertainment late into the night. Players, families, and fans joined together in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere to reflect on what was a season of great progression for the team.
Spartans General Manager Tony Palmer was on-hand to oversee proceedings, and began the event by thanking everyone who had contributed during 2010, including family and friends who had travelled many miles with the team to support them and assist on the sidelines during match days.
After a message of congratulations and praise from Cyrill Weems was read out by Head Coach Marc Saunders, individual awards, voted for by both players and coaches, were presented to celebrate their achievements during a magnificent season.
The award for Offensive Lineman of the Year went to Martin Moran, with fellow offensive lineman Simon Hatton taking home the prize for Most Improved Player. Rookie of the Year went to Aaron Millar, whose impressive statistics included 7.5 sacks, good enough for 3rd place on the team.
Defensive Lineman Of The Year went to team captain Lee Millar, with his incredible contributions including a League-high total of 12 sacks, and Millar completed a clean sweep of defensive awards for the family by also being voted Defensive Player Of The Year.
Special Teams Player of the Year went to Ali Minto for his scintillating kick-returns, and he was joined in the Winners Circle by his defensive captain Seb Tindall, deserved winner of a signed game ball and Clubman of the Year for his monumental contributions to the team.
Offensive Player of the Year, and Most Valuable Player of the Season 2010, deservedly went to the teams talismanic running-back Steve Hull, who powered his way for over 1,000 hard-earned yards and 9 scores and was a key reason for the team’s turnaround in fortunes this season.
Individual game Most Valuable Player awards for the Spartans 11 matches went to James Dawson, Aaron Davidson, Lee Millar, Steve Hull, Jon Tottman, Ali Minto, Tom Marston and Seb Tindall, with some players emerging with more than one award.
Awards were also presented to the Spartans fantastic coaching team of Head Coach Marc Saunders, Offensive Co-Ordinator Sean Benton, Defensive backs Coach Wes Bourke, and Offensive Line Coach Kieron Goymer.
Benton, announcing his playing retirement, was also presented with a signed game ball, and to commemorate his incredible achievements during his Spartans playing career, his shirt number of 75 was officially retired by the team.
Spartans players presented Sue Palmer with a bouquet of flowers to show their appreciation for her sterling efforts behind the scenes throughout the season, and General Manager Tony Palmer was presented with a signed Spartans helmet to celebrate the incredible job he has done in running the team so successfully for 25 years.
The event continued long into the night, and the warm and welcoming atmosphere ensured every person in attendance had an enjoyable and memorable time.