Millwall defender Shaun Hutchinson expressed his delight after winning the MSC Player of the Year 2017/18 gong at the annual End of Season Awards Night at The Den on Sunday.
The 27-year-old, who has played every minute of the Lions’ Championship campaign to date, picked up the main accolade of the evening – as well as being voted Junior Lions Player of the Year.
“I’m really proud,” Hutchinson told milwallfc.co.uk after learning of his award.
“When I signed here I was told the fans would cheer tackles as much as they did someone sticking the ball in the top corner and so it has proved!
“It’s a big honour for me. To win this award, voted for the fans, as well as the Junior Lions one too, really caps off a great year for my personally.
“But it has been a massive team effort. All year the boys have been magnificent.
“Any one of them could have been standing up here collecting the award. They have certainly made my job a lot easier with the way they’ve performed this season.”
Hutchinson stressed that the comradery within the squad has had a huge influence on our success this season, which has seen The Lions come within touching distance of a top six spot.
He added: “Our success has been based on an unbelievable team ethic, togetherness and collective desire to be the best we can possibly be.
“We have taken one game at a time, never got ahead of ourselves, and that mentality has served us well and almost got us into the Play-Offs.
“We have set the standards to build from and improve on next season. I’m looking forward to that both as an individual and as part of this team.”
By his own admission Hutchinson’s Millwall career failed to ignite in the early stages, but around this time last year he really hit the ground running – with his crucial late winner against Bristol Rovers in a seven-goal thriller on the final day of the Sky Bet League One season securing the club's spot in the Play-Offs.
And, as they say, the rest is history, with both The Lions and Hutchinson enjoying a superb first season back in The Championship.
He added: “It was a big moment for me personally, but more so the whole team. That gave us real momentum heading into the Play-Offs.
“We obviously then got promoted and we haven’t looked back since. It’s been an outstanding season for the club and one I certainly won’t ever forget.”