JAMES Coppinger picked up his first Doncaster Rovers Supporters’ Club Player of the Year award at the Keepmoat Stadium yesterday afternoon during the annual shirt sponsors function.
Coppinger didn’t win any of the monthly awards - George Friend being presented with the April award, at the same function.
“I’m delighted to have won the award, especially as it is voted for by the fans,” Coppinger told The Star.
“To have won it without winning any of the monthly awards shows that I must have been consistent throughout the season rather than playing well at one particular stage of the season,” he said.
“As a player consistency throughout season is something that you strive for so it is pleasing that the supporters think that I have been consistent this year. I’ve worked on adding different things to my game this season and it is rewarding that people seem to have recognised that.
“But it is not just about me as an individual, it is about helping the team and hopefully I’ve managed to do that along the way.
“With all due respect, I’d have preferred us to still be in contention for a play-off place rather than winning awards, welcome thought they are, but as every one knows we’ve had a lot of injuries.
“From a personal point of view I’m delighted to have played so many games, most of them having been full games.
“In previous seasons I’ve been brought off midway through the second half and no player likes being substituted.”
The longest-serving player on the club’s books, the 30 year-old says the best is yet to come.
“I try and be better than the previous season and that will be no different next season,” he said. “I look after myself on and off the pitch and it has been a great help having Ross Burbeary (sports scientist) at the club for the last couple of years.”
Having seen the club secure its Championship status at the weekend, Coppinger is hoping that Rovers can end the season on a winning note in Saturday’s game against his hometown club Middlesbrough at the Riverside.
“It would be ironic if we were to pick up a win when we don’t really need one when we couldn’t buy one when we needed one,” he said.