Falmouth Town brought the curtain down on the 2022/23 season in the traditional style on Saturday evening with the club’s annual dinner and awards night.
Town players, officials and supporters came together at the Falmouth Hotel to celebrate what has been a successful campaign, which saw the first team record a seventh-place finish in their first Western League campaign since 1983.
It ended up being a double celebration, with the under-18s team, which was only re-formed last summer, clinching the Kernow Youth Football League title earlier in the day.
The evening, which was compèred by first-team coach Andrew Westgarth, saw attendees enjoy a three-course dinner before listening to speeches from Western League manager Westgarth, outgoing St Piran League assistant manager James Dobson, under-18s boss Dave Turner and guest of honour Tommy Matthews.
The traditional awards were then handed out, with first team squad members Tom Annear, James Ward, Tim Nixon and Kayden Gordon-Dunn all being recognised for their individual efforts over the season.
Kirk Davies, Ryan Martt and Jack Davies scooped the awards for the second team, and Conner McCarthy, Olly Pickup, Toby Fletcher and Jos Plummer picked up the prizes for the under-18s team, while Paddy Kellow claimed the clubman of the year award.
There were also two special awards, with club legend Matthews receiving one of his match-worn shirts in a frame as recognition of his continuing contribution to life at Bickland Park. Popular defender Kirk Davies also received a framed shirt to acknowledge his departure from the club at the end of the season.
Both Annear and Ward shared the honour of the Western League side’s manager’s player of the season award, with Westgarth unable to choose between his two most experienced defenders.
It was one half of a brace of awards for Annear, who also claimed the supporters’ player of the year award.
“I was toying between Wardy and Tom [for manager’s player] and was going round in circles, and when it came down to it I thought, ‘Well, it’s my award, I can give it to both of them,’” Westgarth said.
“[Tom]’s been an ever-present this season and he’s definitely a player who has stepped up to the plate this year. He never puts a foot wrong, he’s Mr Consistent and has been by far one of our stand-out players this year and fully deserves to win it.
“To be that committed, injury-free and then have that level of consistency in his game deserves massive credit. For the supporters to see it too, I think that’s a fantastic accolade. We get great support home and away so they see a lot of the season and for him to win that highlights how well he’s done.
“It’s the same with Wardy really. I think with Charlie [Davis] leaving you’re always fearful in the back of your mind of how that will affect the senior players, but Wardy has stepped up to the plate and really taken on the coaching side of it. He’s stepped up and was first to put his hand up and for that I’ll always be thankful. They’re two worthy winners.”
Gordon-Dunn scooped the young player of the season award after an impressive debut campaign at Bickland Park following his arrival from Truro City reserves last summer.
“He’s had a great first season and showed real maturity this year,” Westgarth said. “He’s played in a number of positions which has been good for him, playing with some senior players he’s experienced the highs and lows of a full senior year in the Western League.
“I think we’d all agree that we didn’t get off to the greatest of starts this season, but as the season progressed, just like the team he’s improved massively and become a mainstay in the side, and massive respect to him for doing that.
Nixon received the honour of the revered players’ player of the year award, as voted for by his colleagues. Despite the step up in division, the winger enjoyed one of his most fruitful seasons for Town, scoring 17 times to also clinch the top goal scorer award.
“I think the players’ player is the one the players respect the most because the manager’s player is one person picking it, whereas the players’ player is a combination of everybody voting for it,” Westgarth said.
“Nixon’s very much like Tom in his consistency levels. He’s taken his game to another level and we said a couple of years back that if we could add goals to Nixon’s game he would be one of the best players around and he’s done that.
“It was a great campaign for him to be top goal scorer, to join that list of great goal scorers this club has had, and if you get players’ player it’s a great accolade.”