Young Whitby Town star Tom Portas spoke of his delight at a hat-trick of awards at the club’s end-of-season presentation night - then quickly turned his sights to a top-five finish next season.
The 23-year-old shared the players’ player of the season trophy, with striker Graeme Armstrong, at the event at the Stables Restaurant.
Portas was also voted joint-supporters’ player of the year, alongside Ibby Hassan, while scooping the Geoff Swales Online Supporters’ accolade in his own right.
The pacey midfield man told the Whitby Gazette and whitby-town.com: “[It] means quite a lot that people thought that much of me.
“I didn’t expect to get all three. It just shows how many good people we have, it shows how tight it must’ve been.
“It was a team marathon, that’s why we’ve had one of the best seasons for a while.
“I was just pleased we ended the season on a high.
“It’s head down, work hard for pre-season, we come back in two months, we’re aiming for the play-offs.
“ I know people always say that, but I truly believe the way Daz [manager Darren Williams] is speaking, that’s what we want to do.”
Elsewhere, Nathan Mulligan scooped the top scorer award, edging Craig Farrell by 18 goals to 16.
Dave McTiernan and Burnley-bound goalkeeper Nick Liversedge, took third place in the players’ and supporters’ prizes, respectively.
Portas acknowledges the Seasiders’ remote location can make attracting players difficult, but says the tight-knit squad will always help newcomers settle quickly.
“It’s going to be a challenge, with any team, it doesn’t matter where you are,” he admitted.
“I think the lads will stick together, work hard and be consistent - that’s the main thing.
“In pre-season, there were lads going and lads coming, everyone was making each other welcome.
“There were no outsiders - that’s how we came out of that start to the season.”
The Blues lost their first six league games in a tough start to the season but recovered well to finish 13th. Their form towards the end of the campaign prompted optimism for next season.