Awards hail defender Phil Bardsley

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SUNDERLAND defender Phil Bardsley, pictured, came third in the annual North East Football Writers’ footballer of the year awards.

The full-back had a superb season for the Black Cats and earned himself a call-up to the Scotland squad.

Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini was the overall winner of the competition.

The Argentina international beat off second placed team-mate Cheik Tiote to become the 31st winner of the coveted award.

Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett is the North East FWA young footballer of the year and becomes the third player from Middlesbrough’s academy to win the award.

Coloccini and Bennett will be presented with their trophies at the North East FWA’s dinner at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham on Sunday, November 27.

Wembley winners Carlisle United, Darlington and Whitley Bay will also be honoured at the annual awards ceremony.

Rochdale-born Bennett becomes the third player from Dave Parnaby’s Middlesbrough academy to win the young player award, following Adam Johnson and David Wheater.

Tickets for the annual dinner are available from Claire Stephen, events co-ordinator at Ramside Hall, on 375 3080.