Newcastle United clean sweep at North East Football Writers’ Association awards

Newcastle United have completed a clean sweep at the 2019 North East Football Writers’ Association’s awards – with Fabian Schar winning the player of the year and Sean Longstaff picking up the young player gong.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:50 pm
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Fabian Schar of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton FC at St. James Park on December 28, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Schar’s emergence as a footballing influence from the United backline became increasingly apparent under Rafa Benitez last season as the Switzerland international scored four goals in 29 appearances in 2018/19. The 28-year-old has carried that on this season with three goals in 16.

Announcing the award, a statement reads: “Switzerland international Schar narrowly beat Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden in the player of the year vote, which is held among the North East’s football writers, with Middlesbrough and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph in third place.

“The stylish centre-back scored four goals last season, including the 30-yard screamer against Burnley which won the Premier League and Match of the Day goal of the month in February. He scored his first goal of this season against Everton as a near ever-present under Steve Bruce, until a hamstring injury over the festive period.

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"Schar becomes the fourth Newcastle player in a row to win the annual award following keeper Martin Dubravka last season and joint winners Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie in 2017.”

Longstaff follows on from Sunderland’s Josh Maja, who won the 2018 award.

Elsewhere, Durham Women FC defender Kathryn Hill has been named women’s player of the year.

All three will be presented with their awards at the 40th North East Football Writers’ Association annual dinner at The Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa, Durham, on Sunday, February 2.

The awards night will also feature the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation personality of the year award which has previously been awarded to Alan Shearer, Jermaine Defoe, Niall Quinn and Robbie Elliott. This year’s recipient will be announced later this week.

As well as recognising success in non-league football, the NEFWA also present the Bob Cass Award and the John Fotheringham Awards, named after two renowned North East football writers, and recognising outstanding services to the region’s football.

Tickets for the awards night are £56 and available from Claire Stephen on 0191 375 3080.