Cian takes Town top awards

Fleetwood Town skipper Nathan Pond presents centre-half Cian Bolger with an award. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby
Fleetwood Town skipper Nathan Pond presents centre-half Cian Bolger with an award. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby

He might have been crowned the fans’ and players’ player of the year at Fleetwood Town but defender Cian Bolger dubbed the awards a “group” prize as Town bid to end the season on a high.

Bolger won both the top awards at the annual end-of-season awards bash, with David Ball picking up the goal of the season gong for his last- gasp strike against Southend.

Kyle Dempsey was crowned young player of the year, with keeper Alex Cairns crowned the young Cod Army’s player of the year and Ben Knapman bagging the fan of the year prize for his support.

And Bolger says it was special to get the recognition, especially after the centre-half’s first start only came in the 2-1 home win over Gillingham at the end of November.

He hopes Town can get it over the line and clinch promotion as they enter the final game against Port Vale two points behind second-placed Bolton, who host Peterborough on Sunday.

The defender said: “It is obviously special when you get recognised for what you have achieved over the season.

“But like I said when I was up on stage, it has been a collective effort from everyone from the top to the bottom. We are all pulling in one direction and hopefully we can get it over the line.

“I’ve always had belief in myself but obviously I wasn’t in the team at the time.

“My first focus was obviously to get in the starting XI and kick on from there. It has been pleasing and I feel I have achieved what I wanted to do.”

The 25-year-old Irishman recovered from an ankle knock picked up in the 2-0 defeat at Oldham earlier this month to come off the bench and set up David Ball’s leveller in the 3-2 win at Gillingham on Saturday.

And he says it is good to be back.

Bolger said: “It was a little bit frustrating to get injured when I did, but it’s always pleasing to come back in and help the lads out.

“When it first happened we thought it was going to be a bit longer but it is always a bonus when you can come back sooner rather than later, so it was pleasing.”

With the race to join Sheffield United in the Championship still on and a play-off place at least in the bag with one game to go, Bolger says the pressure is on the rest of the division rather than the Cod Army.

He said: “I think we are not putting any pressure on ourselves. I think all the pressure is on the other, so we have just got to treat it like another game, go in and play our football. We have to try to get the three points and see what happens.”

David Ball, who moved on to 49 club goals with the second leveller at Gillingham, says his goal of the season winner was massive.

It was a fine curling effort in January’s last-gasp 1-1 home draw with potential play-off opponents Southend.

Speaking about the strike, he said: “It was late in the game, stoppage-time. We were throwing everything at them. It has come out to the edge of the box and I’ve managed to whip it into the top corner.

“It kept our run going, which was big. It was massive.

“We were unbeaten at the time and getting it back to 2-2 last weekend was another important goal. “