Kieran Trippier leads FWA NE awards

Newcastle United captain is North East FWA Player of the Year, Sarah Robson retains Women’s Player of the Year. Hayden Hackney and Katy Watson are the NE FWA Young Players of the Year

By Colin Young

Newcastle United defender Kieran Trippier is the North East Football Writers Association’s Player of the Year for 2023.

The England international is the 44th winner of the award, beating off Sunderland winger Jack Clarke, who was second and Newcastle team-mate Joelinton in third in the calendar year poll of North East football journalists.

Middlesbrough midfielder Hayden Hackney has been voted the NE FWA Young Player of the Year.

Durham Women and Northern Ireland defender Sarah Robson has won the women’s senior award for the third year in a row, narrowly beating her former team-mate Bridget Galloway, who played for Durham last season and is now at Newcastle United. Sunderland youngster Katy Watson is the first recipient of the Women’s Young Player of the Year award.

The awards will be presented at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham on Sunday, March 3 when other notable awards will be presented including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation personality of the year which is currently held by former England international Jill Scott.

Trippier, 33, joined Newcastle from Atletico Madrid in January 2022 as the first signing of the new Saudi Arabia-based owners.

Although he was injured shortly after his £12 million move from Spain, missing nine games, Trippier has been a near ever-present for the last year, playing a major role in Newcastle’s Champions League qualification, and has taken the captain’s armband on field in the absence of former NE FWA player of the year Jamaal Lascelles.

The Bury-born full-back, who started his career at Manchester City, played more than 200 games for Burnley and Tottenham before his move to Atletico in 2019. He has 46 England caps and after playing in the Qatar World Cup Finals in 2022 has been a regular in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 qualifying squad.

Trippier is the third successive Newcastle player to win the award and the 22nd player from the club – half of the winners since its inception in 1980 when Middlesbrough’s David Armstrong was named the first winner. He follows Bruno Guimaraes and Allan Saint-Maximin as the North East player of the year in the last three years.

The 16th NE FWA young player of the year is Middlesbrough midfielder Hayden Hackney who was the overwhelming choice ahead of Newcastle’s Lewis Miley and Jack Clarke.

Redcar-born Hackney, 21, has hardly missed a game since Michael Carrick was appointed Boro manager and has looked at home in the Championship, alongside the more experienced Jonny Howson, another former NE FWA player of the year. He was Middlesbrough supporters choice as young player of the year last season.

The Boro fan joined the club’s academy at under-10 level and signed his first professional contract in June 2019.  He was named on the Boro bench for the first time five months later and made his Boro debut under Jonathan Woodgate in the final game of the 2020/21 season and after a loan spell at Scunthorpe, immediately impressed new manager Carrick following his appointment in October 2022 and has been a regular ever since, making 50 appearances already. 

He is the 16th winner of an award first presented to Newcastle’s Steven Taylor and he is the sixth Middlesbrough player to be recognised, following David Wheater, Joe Bennett, Jason Steele, Ben Gibson – all former Boro academy graduates – and Marcus Tavernier.

Durham Women’s Sarah Robson picks up the NE FWA player of the year award for the third year running after another outstanding year for club and country.

The 36-year-old, who joined the club from Sunderland in 2017, won her 100th cap for Northern Ireland last year – where she still plays under her maiden name McFadden – and she has remained a consistent presence in the young Durham side throughout the year.

The inaugural Women’s Young Player award completes a great year for Sunderland’s Katy Watson who signed a new contract for the club in October. The 18-year-old narrowly beat her England Under-19 colleague Poppy Pritchard, who has also impressed in her debut season. 

The North East Football Writers Association player of the year annual awards dinner will be held on Sunday, March 3 at the Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club. Tickets details are available from Claire Stephen: tel 01913 865282 or 

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