Hartlepool United Ladies enjoyed a night of celebration on Sunday as they held their annual presentation at the Corporation Club.
It was also an evening of high emotion following the news that Andy Stuart has decided to step down from his role as Manager after six highly successful seasons in charge.
There were awards for the Ladies’ Under 14s, Under 16s and Reserve Team as well as an array of top prizes dished out to the First Team, who finished an impressive third in their first season in the North East Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division in 2017/18.
Players’ Player of the Year was won by skipper Justine Robinson, whose strong and commanding performances in the heart of Pools’ defence earned her the vote of her team mates.
Robinson was back in the spotlight minutes later when it was announced that she had also won the Opponents’ Player of the Year prize – an award voted for by the managers of the teams Pools have come up against during the course of the campaign.
Stuart was on stage to hand out the trophies and admitted that he could not decide when coming up with his Managers’ Player of the Year for 2017/18 – and so opted to share it between Caitlin Bates and Jess Dawson.
Bates has been outstanding during the past campaign, top scoring with 26 often spectacular goals, while Dawson has been a consistent source of danger on the left wing with her pace and direct style.
Two Player of the Year awards chosen by the Ladies Sponsors, DBS and Collier & Wood, were also presented on the night to midfielder Chelsea Basnett and right-back Sarah Bartlett.
The final trophy of the night was the Billy Loveless Debbie Bates Award – a prize given in memory of former player Hannah Loveless’ father, Billy, and Caitlin Bates’ mother, Debbie.
Vice-captain Bates took to the stage to make the presentation, revealing that the annual award had been won on this occasion by Andy Stuart and his wife Dawn for their tireless work for the team over the past six years.
As well as the presentation of awards, local girl group Sparkle provided the entertainment on a memorable night of reflection following another strong season for Hartlepool United Ladies.
Players’ Player of the Year: Justine Robinson
Manager’s Player of the Year: Caitlin Bates and Jess Dawson
Opponents’ Player of the Year: Justine Robinson
Sponsors’ (DBS) Player of the Year: Chelsea Basnett
Sponsors’ (Collier & Wood) Player of the Year: Sarah Bartlett