Former Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford caps remarkable year by retaining young player of year award
Former Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford has been named as the North East Football Writers Association's young player of the year.
The £30million goalie retains the gong after another remarkable year, which saw him establish himself as one of the best young keepers in the country with his showings at the Stadium of Light at the back end of last season, and then continue that after his summer move to Everton.
Pickford also recently made his England debut, keeping a clean sheet in the November friendly with Germany.
The North East Football Writers Association's annual player of the year dinner will be held on Sunday February 11 at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf Club and Spa in Durham.
Special awards on the night will also be handed out to Jermain Defoe, Blyth Spartans, Spennymoor Town and South Shields, while, Sunderland's Victoria Williams has won the ladies player of the year.
The main award - the North East Football Writers Association's player of the year gong - has been handed to Newcastle United duo Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie.
It was won last year by Defoe.
Lascelles and Ritchie are the third joint winners of the 38th North East Football Writers Association's player of the year award, sponsored by William Hill.
They follow David McCreery and Neil McDonald in 1987, and Nyron Nosworthy and Dean Whitehead in 2007.
And manager Rafa Benitez has praised the impact of duo, who played integral parts in the Magpies' promotion back to the Premier League last season.
"I think that both played really well for us," said the Spaniard.
"It was a great season last season and this year they have started really well. I am not surprised you have given them that award. "They represent the pride and the passion and the commitment that everybody is expecting from Newcastle players. They are a good example of that."