Norwich v SAFC

Award-winner Simon proud of accolade

by Kate Smith

Stopper reflects on 2012-13 campaign.

Following his third season on Wearside, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has revealed that picking up the North East Football Writers’ Player of the Year award was a particular highlight for him.

The stopper beat off stiff competition to land the prize and follows in the footsteps of a number of greats who have picked up the award.

Mignolet was an ever–present for Sunderland in the league last term, something the Belgian has strived for since arriving at the club in 2010.

“Last summer, I remember saying I wanted to play every game this season, perform well and keep my place,” Simon commented, “I did alright, I kept 11 clean sheets which is always good for a goalkeeper.

“It wasn’t a season to remember so we have to make sure next season is better instead of looking over our shoulders.”

One moment the keeper fondly looks back on is being presented with his Player of the Year award:

“It’s nice to get recognised; after your career is over you always remember those things. I still remember my awards from Belgium where I was player of the year and goalkeeper of the league.

“This year especially with the North East Football Writers’ award, I’m very proud.”

However, the typically modest Belgian was quick to extend the plaudits to both his colleagues and the fans.

“Personal awards always come second, as it’s all about the team but it is nice to win these awards and shows you are respected by the fans.”