NIGHTINGALE – WDSA’S PLAYER OF THE SEASON

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IT was a furious vote but in the end skipper WILL NIGHTINGALE has been crowned WDSA’s Player of the Season.

In a three-way joust, Nightingale shaded on-loan goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and striker Joe Pigott for the award, celebrating its 33rd year.

It is a significant outcome as Nightingale has come through the club’s Academy to consolidate a place in the first team and claim the captaincy armband.

Fans were buoyed to receive confirmation shortly after the end of last season that Nightingale has re-signed a new contract to stay with the Dons.

“This is the third time I’ve signed a professional contract at Wimbledon and I’ve been here for my whole career,” he said at the announcement.

“This club is what I know, it’s what I’m about, and I’m over the moon to sign. I had a couple of other offers and little bits of interest, but this is where I wanted to be.”

Nightingale polled 71 votes, ahead of the immensely popular goalkeeper Ramsdale on 65 and Pigott having plenty of admirers with 57 votes.

Nightingale relished the extra responsibility under new manager Wally Downes and was the  vocal leader of a youthful back three with Paul Kalambayi and Terell Thomas who were influential as the Dons survived relegation in a desperate late-season rearguard.

The central defender, who signed his first pro contract in April 2014, having been with AFC Wimbledon from the age of eight, celebrated his 24th birthday on August 2.

Nightingale is edging towards what many Dons fans are hoping for — leading Wimbledon out on to the new stadium in Plough Lane, hopefully at the start of the 2020-21 season.

Nightingale polled 10 major votes to edge out Ramsdale, who transformed the Dons defence with his outstanding displays between the posts on loan from Premier League AFC Bournemouth.

Ramsdale polled seven major votes from WDSA members and contributors. Pigott also had his admirers also scoring a total of 15 crucial League goals in a low-scoring season and polled eight major votes.

WDSA Player of the 2018/19 Season voting:

71 — WILL NIGHTINGALE

65 — Aaron Ramsdale

57— Joe Pigott

12— Steve Seddon

7 — Anthony Wordsworth

1 —James Hanson

 

WDSA PLAYER OF THE SEASON WINNERS

PAST WINNERS: 1986-87 JOHN FASHANU; 1987-88 JOHN FASHANU; 1988-89 DENNIS WISE; 1989-90 HANS SEGERS; 1990-91 JOHN FASHANU; 1991-92 ROBBIE EARLE; 1992-93 JOHN SCALES; 1993-94 DEAN HOLDSWORTH; 1994-95 WARREN BARTON; 1995-96 OYVIND LEONHARDSEN; 1996-97 CHRIS PERRY; 1997-98 MICHAEL HUGHES; 1998-99 JASON EUELL; 1999-2000 NEIL SULLIVAN; 2000-01 KELVIN DAVIS; 2001-02 KENNY CUNNINGHAM; 2002-03 KEVIN COOPER (AFCW); 2003-04 MATT EVERARD; 2004-05 RICHARD BUTLER; 2005-06 ANDY LITTLE; 2006-07 ANTONY HOWARD; 2007-08 JASON GOODLIFFE; 2008-09 BEN JUDGE; 2009-10 DANNY KEDWELL; 2010-11 SEB BROWN; 2011-12 JACK MIDSON; 2012-13 JACK MIDSON; 2013-14 BARRY FULLER; 2014-15 JAMES SHEA.; 2015-16 PAUL ROBINSON; 2016-17 TOM ELLIOT; 2017-18 DEJI OSHILAJA