1st October 2018

After a long, and at times challenging, 2018 season the Farnham Knights came together to celebrate as youth and senior players, staff and family gathered at Farnham Rugby Club for the annual awards night.  No pads were in sight, as players pulled out their Sunday best, with some even donning a cowboy hat or carrying a cane for added measure. Beer and laughter flowed, with everyone having a chance to catch up after a few weeks apart, whilst dining on BBQ food kindly provided by Peter Hill.

Having eaten and taken their seats, it was time for the winners of the Junior Awards to be announced. First was the Junior Lettman Award, which is awarded to the member of the organisation who has gone above and beyond to help the junior teams. The much-deserved winner was Laura Hill, who has taken a step back from playing this year but dedicated her time to helping the club develop. Laura has done an incredible amount for the Knights in 2018 from coaching the junior team, managing the club finances and ensuring the smooth running of the organisation as a whole. Both junior and senior players alike cannot thank Laura enough for everything she has done for the team this year, and winning the Lettman Award was the players’ way of showing their gratitude.

Next was the junior Most Valuable Player (MVP), with players and coaches voting for the person they felt personified a Knight on and off the field. Dominating on both offence and defence, and becoming a stand-up leader, one young man stood above the rest; Reece Johnson. The coaching staff are looking forward to helping Reece develop not only as a player, but as a man, and with so much potential the senior team cannot wait for Reece to come of age. Reece, who is currently at army preparation college as he looks for a career in the military, gracefully accepted his award by focusing on the other youth players instead of himself, which epitomises this exceptional talent.

Following the MVP award, came the Coaches Award. This award is presented to the player who Coach Pete “Too Tall” Fields and his staff felt gave their all to the club, and has been at practice week in and week out throughout the season. With plenty of players showing potential for this award, Josh Sharp was given the accolade, as his growth throughout the year personified what the coaches were looking for. 


After a short break, it was time for the Knights Supporters Club, led by Andy Soltysiak, to hand out their awards. With plenty of candidates, who have shown the Knight spirit throughout the year, the award is given to one youth and one senior player who gives their all to the club, whilst being a perfect representation of a team player. Luca Deering was selected as the junior player; his ability on and off the field shows there is plenty of talent being developed at the club. The senior team’s winner Nick Roope, not only quantifies what the fans want to see but is also a great example of how the club has developed their talent. Nick learnt his craft as part of the junior team, and now entertains the fans as a senior player setting a fantastic example for all members of the team. After the Supporter Awards the night continued onto the Seniors. 

This year has been a testing time for the senior team but has proven fruitful. With a rookie class showing masses of potential the team can look forward with confidence. With lots of young, talented players on the roster another year of recruitment can only mean success in upcoming seasons.

With so many new players to the team the Rookie of the Year Award had numerous potential winners, but after a fantastic start to his first ever year to the sport, which was sadly cut short due to a broken leg, Chris Lovell collected the trophy. His performance throughout the year showed the flashes of potential which made senior players and staff pay attention to the defensive back. The coaching staff look forward to seeing what Chris brings next year, and look forward to helping him develop even further. 

Each year, players return to preseason wanting to learn and get better, and with such a young roster in the 2018 season many players were in the running for the Most Improved Player Award. The player that just edged it was Tom Tame, who entered the 2018 season wanting to prove he can be a leader on defence and a person the coaches can rely on every week. The change in Tom this year has been outstanding and his efforts were rewarded in the final game of the season as he walked out as defensive captain.

The awards then moved onto the trenches, where games are won and lost, showing the appreciation for the defensive and offensive lines. The unsung heroes of football had had an outstanding year in 2018, with plenty of new talent stepping up for the Knights.

After an offseason spent perfecting his craft, D-lineman Aleski Mäkinen came into the 2018 season and proved that all his hard work had paid off. Aleski brought his usual passion to training and games, and has grown leaps and bounds throughout the season. Because of that he won the Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, and whilst his acceptance speech was probably very moving, his thick accent meant no-one could understand it!

With such a young team one player showed that there is life in the old dogs yet, as the Offensive Lineman of the Year Award was given to a Dave Carpenter, who has been the face of the club for an incredible 26 years. DC once again proved himself as one of the undeniable leaders on the team, whilst also standing strong as one of the U.K’s most dominant interior lineman.