Gus Wilkinson (Under 14 Spartans)
Gus has been a part of the Junior Reds Spartans team since January 2014 when he was signed after leaving Leeford FC. He made an immediate impact to the team and made the right midfield position his own, featuring in all 13 games from January to the end of the season in May. Gus has showed outstanding behaviour and a real dedication to his football in his time with the team and was a major factor in securing a solid mid table finish in the Selkent B West League and also finishing as Runners-Up in the Green Shield Final during the 2013/2014 season.After a solid pre season in August 2014, Gus unfortunately sustained a serious injury in our first friendly of the new campaign. After a trip to the hospital it was revealed that he had damaged the ligaments in the back of his leg which would mean he would miss at least the first 6 weeks of the season. The reason that I am nominating Gus for the Jack Petchey Award is due to his outstanding commitment to the team. Week after week, and in rain or shine, Gus arrived with his Dad Paul to every game on his crutches to support his teammates that were fortunate enough to be playing. He was on hand to encourage and congratulate his team mates for their efforts as we made a winning start to the 2014/2015 campaign. Gus returned to training in late October and made his comeback in the 2nd half of the game the following weekend against Long Lane Tigers. Unfortunately as he took a shot shortly after coming on as a substitute, he felt the same muscle pull again and was left in a heap on the pitch as his hard work to recover from the original injury had been undone within 5 minutes of his comeback. Gus faced a further 4 weeks out of the team but again returned every Sunday with his crutches to support the other players in the team. After numerous visits to the hospital to see the physio, he began light training again with the team on a Friday evening and finally made his full recovery to the team in January 2015 against Orpington FC. Gus has shown outstanding commitment to the team by turning up week after week and I believe that from this he is a not only a valued member of the Spartans team but of the Club as a whole. He has displayed the ‘Junior Reds spirit’ during difficult and frustrating times over the past 4 months but has come back even stronger as a player and as a young man. Gus is a pleasure to coach as he is so easy to work with. He has a great sense of humour and listens to every word both I and his team mates say to him as he is always looking to learn and to improve. Gus is always congratulated and recognised by his fellow players and all of the other parents for his brilliant attitude to his football both at training and then on a match day.