There was no big fancy gala this year for obvious reasons, but the annual Chelsea Awards were still handed out in a virtual fashion, recognizing the past season’s Goal and Players of the Season (men’s, women’s, Academy).
First announced this morning was the Goal of the Season, which went to Fikayo Tomori’s goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers way back in September, almost a year ago now. It’s certainly a tremendous effort, but for me, long-range strikes are usually a bit boring as winners of such awards (Michael Essien’s goal against Arsenal, which won the inaugural Chelsea Goal of the Season award in 2006-07, and the Oscar vs. Juventus goal in 2012-13 aside).
Next announced was the 2019-20 Academy Player of the Season, and there was no surprise in Billy Gilmour collecting that. The teenager had burst onto the scene last summer in preseason and stayed with the first-team for most of the season as well. He was pressed into action thanks to a multitude of midfield injuries and suspensions just before the pandemic, collecting Man of the Match awards against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League. Gilmour’s season ended in a knee injury unfortunately, but I’m sure he’ll come back even stronger from it.
The future is bright, just as it was for the previous winners of this award (first given out in 2014-15), who have included Mason Mount, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Dom Solanke, and Conor Gallagher.
Billy Gilmour, the 2019/20 Academy Player of the Season! #CFCAwards20— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 25, 2020
Next up was the Women’s Player of the Season, which went to striker Bethany England, who’s certainly had a most excellent season despite that being cut short by the pandemic.
Chelsea Women begin play this weekend in the inaugural Women’s Community Shield, by the way, so we’ve got that to look forward to already!
And last in the day was the announcement for Men’s Player of the Season, which rightly went to Mateo Kovačić. The former Real Madrid midfielder stepped up his game in his second season at Chelsea after converting his loan to a permanent move in the summer. His consistent excellence in midfield transition was key to Chelsea finishing in the top four and reaching the Champions League knockout stages as well as the FA Cup final.
He even scored a goal! (Which we probably should’ve seen as the sign of the incoming 2020 apocalypse.)
Congrats, Mateo and all the other award-winners!