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Julian Speroni 'emotional' after Crystal Palace player of the year honour

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PALACE'S end-of-season awards ceremony was a huge success at Fairfield Halls on Tuesday night, with goalkeeper Julian Speroni scooping the fans' player of the year award.

It has certainly been a season to remember for the Argentine, who has now been with the Eagles for nearly ten years – and his recognition for a fine campaign was fully deserved.

Speroni beat off competition from Joel Ward, who landed the young player of the year, Damien Delaney, Jason Puncheon, Marouane Chamakh and skipper Mile Jedinak.

And he was presented with his award by manager Tony Pulis, who looks set to make a decision on whether to keep the custodian at the club, with his contract due to run out next month.

After picking up his award, Speroni said on stage: "I'm very, very pleased with the award, I can't thank the fans enough for all the love they've shown me.

"I think we all deserve a little piece of this as it's been such a great season and all the lads have done so well so it's a bit unfair for one player to have it, we should all share it.

"It's been a very emotional week for me and it's always nice to be rewarded but this is a special award for me."

Ward came out on top against the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Dwight Gayle and Stuart O'Keefe for the young player of the year.

The goal of the season award was contested by Cameron Jerome, O'Keefe, Chamakh, Puncheon and Gayle, and it was the latter's last-gasp strike against Aston Villa on Boxing Day which won it.

Advertiser sports reporter Mark Ritson also gave away an award on the night, recognising the fan of the year, which went to Ryan Joy, who picked up the most votes out of the 2,411 received in total.

Former chairman Ron Noades, who sadly died at Christmas, was recognised with the club's special achievement award, picked up by his wife Novella. And his legacy was played out by a fantastic video tribute of his time at the club.

Co-chairman Stephen Browett was delighted with the evening and felt it brought everyone connected with the club together to top off an amazing season.

He said: "It was a wonderful night and everyone was very together – it was a real Palace evening.

"Julian Speroni is such a wonderful bloke and he has been brilliant this year, he hasn't put a foot wrong.

"He totally deserved the player of the year award.

"It was incredibly emotional for him. The fans absolutely like Julian, and quite rightly."

Meanwhile, Browett revealed the club were in talks with "three or four" kit sponsors with big-money offers for next season too.

"Instead of coming at it with a Championship angle, we're now suddenly an established Premier League team so we are negotiating with three or four shirt sponsors," he said.

"They are offering us serious amounts of money. I hope GAC still have some sort of sponsorship around the ground, because they have been a fantastic sponsor for Palace.

"They have been with us for a long, long time.

"But now we're relatively big time in the Premier League, I think it will be serious amounts of money offered.

"Ultimately, it's who offers the most money but it is Premier League amounts of money, absolutely."

Julian Speroni 'emotional' after Crystal Palace player of the year honour


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