Matt Targett picked up the club’s Young Player of the Season award, sponsored by Hampshire Collegiate school at Southampton’s Player Awards evening on Wednesday night.
Left-back Targett, who made his Premier League debut in the 2-1 win over QPR at St Mary’s this season and has amassed 12 appearances in total for the first team so far, was the player chosen by Academy representatives to have made the step up at the club.
At the end of 2014, the 19 year-old signed a five-year deal with the club he supports, and now rounds off a memorable season with this accolade, which replaced the former Scholar of the Season prize.
Targett was presented with his award by Andrew Egford from Hampshire Collegiate school and Academy Manager Matt Hale, who explained the reasoning for choosing Targett after citing the attributes of previous winners like James Ward-Prowse.
“Once again the staff in the academy were consulted on the choice for Young Player of the Year,” he said. “We have a multi-disciplinary approach in order to be a world-class player. We consider their attitude, discipline as well as their technical performance on it. The staff work here is best seen in the players who are past winners because those players are an example of the professionalism needed.
“The winner of this award stands for everything that we say in the Academy. He was aged eight when he joined us, made his first-team debut last summer, represented England at Under-19, 20 and 21 and signed a contract extension at the turn of the year. He’s everything we stand for in the Academy.”
Targett was pleased to finish his breakthrough year on a high, commenting:
“This is a great way to end season. It’s a dream come true to win an award like this at an amazing football club.
“It’s very special, and I want to thank all staff and Martin Hunter, who has been a big influence in my career over a long time - he’s been amazing.”