We are delighted to announce the winners of our 19/20 Craig Shearstone Guiseley AFC Supporters’ Club Player of the Season as chosen by you, the supporters.
For the first time the trophy is a joint award with no votes to separate Kaine Felix and Hamza Bencherif being crowned our winners!
The award is named after Craig Shearstone who was a key member and well loved fan of the football club who sadly he lost his life in 2016 and this serves as a great tribute to a top man.
The pair have played a key role in the 19/20 campaign with Hamza taking the captain’s armband in December and Kaine being the highest scorer in the squad of players still at the club.
Defender Bencherif made 36 appearances during the 19/20 campaign, a feat only bettered by Brad Nicholson who featured in one more game, with the captain notching four goals along the way including a clever free kick away at Darlington that kick started a 3-0 win.
Hamza joined The Lions in the summer from York City and fast became a fans favourite with his consistent performances, solid defending and pride in captaining the side.
Speedy winger Felix made 31 appearances scoring 10 goals along the way, many of which were at vital times such as his late winner away at York City and the only strike in our final game of the campaign at King’s Lynn Town.
Kaine burst onto the scene in a 3-1 pre-season friendly win at home to then Championship side Bolton Wanderers where he played as a trialist in 2018, many fans at Nethermoor that night called for the club to sign him instantly and he has proven worthy of their calls with an excellent second campaign for The Lions.
We spoke to both the winners about the season, their thoughts on winning the award and a message from each for everyone as we go through these unprecedented times.
Speaking of his first season at the club Hamza Bencherif said “It must be a first incomplete season for a lot of people! I enjoyed every minute of it, I discovered a convivial club with great supporters and an amazing young squad full of talent that I have been privileged to see grow during the season, even though I have a feeling of unfinished business as I truly believe with our energy we could have made a late run for a play-off spot.”
Bencherif ended the season as captain and he explains his pride in the role “Just before Christmas we had a period hit by suspensions and injuries with a bad spell of results. We managed to re-group coming to the festive period and went on a great spell which revived our season.”
“The managerial staff has really created a strong group of honest players with a bond all around the team as our core strength.
“Taking the role as captain of the club was an honour with my experience I happily took the pressure onto myself to relieve the rest of the squad to express themselves on the pitch and went on to get results in what was a tough run of games.”
Being one of the senior members of the squad Hamza has been boosted by the youthful Lions “Their energy and hunger is infectious, all around the team you have different characters but they all have these traits in common, honesty, energy, talent and not only they have given me a boost but also the hunger for more success.”
Finally Hamza also had a message for the supporters “I would like to thank all of the fans as I discovered a convivial and great club. The support and atmosphere has been superb through out the season. Thank you for all the initiatives taken by the supporters to help the club during those difficult times.”
“Enjoy your family time and loved ones during these difficult period stay safe. Hoping to all see you really soon to celebrate better times.”
Kaine, who recently tweeted about his love for the club, said “I’m really pleased to be the club’s current top goal scorer this season. Marcus and Russ have been a massive reason for my success and I can only thank them for my continued development.”
When asked which was his favourite strike of the season the winger said “My favourite goal is definitely hands down the York away goal just purely for the importance of it and the scenes were just out of this world at Bootham Crescent.”
Felix was also keen to point out the key role the Management Team have played this season “I’m glad I’ve been able to be a part of Guiseley’s homely club and success with some great players and two unbelievable managers. The two managers make coming to work easy and enjoyable as they have an open door policy along with a willingness to win.”
Kaine was also keen to thank the supporters for making his time at GAFC so far enjoyable “Since day 1 of walking through the door at Guiseley the fans have been great and very welcoming. I travel 2 and a half hours to play for Guiseley and when I get there I feel like I’m at home and that comes purely from the great fans at the club.”
“They have all supported the team through the good and bad times. The fans are what make football clubs what they are and Guiseley certainly have great ones. I want to say a massive thanks to all the fans for their continued support both seasons that I’ve been here.”
Congratulations to both Kaine and Hamza on their awards and thank you to everyone who voted.