Friday, December 18, 2009
SIMEON JACKSON WINS 2009 CANADIAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Canadian Soccer Association announced today that Simeon Jackson is the male selection for the 2009 Canadian Players of the Year award. Jackson was honoured in a vote shared by Canadian media (50%) and Canadian coaches who have taken the Canadian Soccer Association’s national course at the B and A levels (50%).
Jackson of Mississauga, ON wins the award for the first time. His co-winner Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, BC – announced yesterday – is a five-time winner of the prize.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Simeon,” said Canadian national head coach Stephen Hart. “He had an excellent club season and performed admirably at the national level. Full congratulations to Simeon.”
In 2009, the 22-year old striker helped Gillingham FC earn a promotion to League One in England. In the second half of the 2008-09 season, he scored nine goals in 25 League Two appearances, including three goals in the final two playoff matches to earn Gillingham FC the promotion for the 2009-10 season. It was on 23 May 2009 in front of 53,706 fans at Wembley Stadium that Jackson scored the winning goal of a Gillingham FC 1:0 victory over Shrewsbury to secure the promotion. Jackson scored on a header in the 91st minute of play.
Just one week later, he made his international debut with the Canadian national team in a 1:0 victory over Cyprus in Larnaka. Again, Jackson scored the lone goal of the match, this one the first of his international career.
Over the summer, Jackson represented Canada at the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He helped Canada reach the quarter-final stage. He was called up again in November for a pair of friendly matches in Europe, thus earning him seven national appearances by year’s end.
As for the start of the 2009-10 England League One season, Jackson has been in fine form through the first 18 games of the season. He has scored 10 goals including an opening-day hat trick against Swindon Town on 8 August. He scored two additional goals in League Cup matches against Plymouth and Premiership opponent Blackburn. The 25 August goal against Blackburn was Jackson’s second of the year against a Premiership opponent; his first was a 4 January 2009 goal against Aston Villa in FA Cup action.
While the media across the country and coaches from the community levels to national teams honoured Jackson and Sinclair as the top national players, Canadian coaches honoured two pairs of teenagers earlier this week in other 2009 player award announcements. Nana Attakora (Orangeville, ON) and Chelsea Stewart (The Pas, MB) were named co-winners of the Canadian U-20 Players of the Year award while Russell Teibert (Niagara Falls, ON) and Abigail Raymer (Victoria, BC) were named co-winners of the Canadian U-17 Players of the Year award.
TG - I had the chance to vote and Simeon Jackson got my vote. We'll talk more about it on the show on Sunday evening. I am actually a little surprised that Jackson won. I thought for sure, the Toronto media would have swayed the vote with Dwayne De Rosario. My faith is renewed.
Simeon Jackson will join Full-Time in the weeks to come. Just trying to track him down. Simeon, answer your phone.
MM - I also voted for Simeon Jackson and - just like Tyler - am very surprised that he actually won the award.
That said, it appeared to be an incredibly tight vote. 1. Jackson (18.2); 2. Dwayne De Rosario (17.6); 3. Julian de Guzman (17.4).
My question is... WTF? How was it even this close. While I repeat, I am surprised that Jackson actually won (thinking that everyone would for some reason vote for the TFC boys), I'm still stunned that people made it this close.
What impact did Julian de Guzman make in 2009? Did Dwayne De Rosario really shine in 2009 for club and country?
Jackson had a spectacular year. He led his club to promotion, scored on his international debut, and provided some spark in the Gold Cup.
Tune in late Sunday night / Monday morning (midnight - Monday, December 21st) for more.