The time is here, the votes have been counted and
verified and I’m proud to be able to announce the
three winners of the inaugural Ngonge Awards for
Loan Players in the Football League.
The competition was fierce and certain awards
were not decided until the very end of the season
but enough blithering, here’s your winners.
Championship Ngonge
The Championship has seen lots of particularly
good football this season, no little of it played by
loanees. Henri Lansbury has been a real stand out
from what I’ve seen of him, though recent
performances may be clouding that. However, the
Ngonge Award goes to one of Henri’s team-
mates, the unspectacular but reliable, George
McCartney. In a West Ham team built on
stubbornness and grit allow the more ethereal
Lansbury and Vaz Te to ply their trade, McCartney
has been hewn from the toughest of stone and is
a well-deserved first winner of this award.
George McCartney (West Ham Utd, from
League One Ngonge
Obviously, a lot of my focus was on League One
this season and the end hasn’t been as happy for
me as the beginning was. However, there’s a very
definite reason for that. There’s a man who has
come into his club early in 2012, and has ignited
the fire under them as they haul back ground on
the leaders, on their city rivals and on the second
place spot they clinched so very recently. Every
time Sheffield Wednesday used to play, Jermaine
Johnson was an enigma. In 2012, Michal Antonio
has been a firebrand – unleashing his trickery
everywhere for the Owls and looking far more of a
player than anybody had any right to expect.
Michal Antonio (Sheffield Weds, from
League Two Ngonge
Following on from the League One award, recent
events have coloured Crawley Town’s surge to
promotion after their sticky patches were left
behind after the arrival of a forward on loan,
though with a view to a permanent move, from
the division above. That’s not to take anything
away from his impact – seven goals in fourteen games is only going to help your team
and help them he most certainly did.
Congratulations to them, and congratulations to
Gary Alexander. I questioned his moving to
Crawley at the time, and I’m still not sure it’s the
wisest thing he’ll ever have done, but – on the
field – he’s been a triumph at Crawley.
Gary Alexander (Crawley T, from