Cobblers boss Wilder’s praise for award winner Smith

BEST GOALKEEPER IN THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Cobblers shot-stopper Adam Smith

BEST GOALKEEPER IN THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Cobblers shot-stopper Adam Smith

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Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has heaped praise on goalkeeper Adam Smith after he was named in the Football League team of the year.

Smith was named the best shot-stopper in the three divisions, with Wilder also being recognised for his efforts by being named the top Football League manager.

The awards were held in Manchester on Sunday night, and Wilder said: “I think it was the correct decision as Adam has been outstanding all season and it was no surprise to all of us.

“For a young goalkeeper to have his first full season in the Football League, and to produce the performances that he has done is excellent.

“It was more for his performances earlier in the season, and not so much the back end, and that is not being negative on him, it is about the amount of work he has had to do.”

Wilder was delighted he and Smith received awards, but admitted he was disappointed the Cobblers didn’t claim a hat-trick, with Ricky Holmes being pipped to the league two player of the year award by Oxford United’s Kemar Roofe.

“I was a bit disappointed about Ricky as he has been absolutely outstanding,” said the Town boss.

“I believe that for half of the season, Ricky has been the standout player with his contribution, his goals, his all-round play, and there is also where we sit compared to the other clubs.

“I think they should have given Ricky the award for what he has done in half a season, and all bets would have been off if he had been involved all year, but he wasn’t.”

Wilder says the awards are deserved reward for not only him and Smith, but for everybody at Sixfields.

“It has been a big effort from everybody, and when we get this stuff, it is for everybody, the office staff, the coaching staff, everybody involved in the footbal club.” said Wilder

“It is obviously great to be recognised as a group and as a club for what we have achieved this season.

“It was good for Ricky to be nominated, great news for Adam and fantastic recognition.

“I always say that I will take any award for the staff and the work they put in, and I should imagine Adam will be the same and will take that award on behalf of the players he has played with all season.”