Date: 27th April 2009 at 10:30am
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For the third successive year, a Blackpool defender has taken the ‘Vital Player of the Year’ award.

Alex John-Baptiste, despite not making his debut for the club until November, took 42% of the vote to win the end of season trophy – 9% ahead of his only rival, Keith Southern.

Alex John-Baptiste: 42%
Keith Southern: 33%
Shaun Barker: 14%
Paul Rachubka: 8%
DJ Campbell: 3%


Baptiste follows in the footsteps of Shaun Barker and Kaspars Gorkss, who both claimed this award in the two previous seasons, with key defenders being well-recognised by the knowledgeable members of the website.

The vote seemed to be more difficult this season with the use of more than 20 loan players, most of whom proving to be shrewd business by the club but on a short term timescale. Only one loanee was worthy of placing in the top five ‘Pool players – that’s top scorer DJ Campbell.

But it is the right back Baptiste who takes the spoils in his breakthrough season in Championship football; he took to the hustle and bustle of the league like a duck to water, playing at full back and centre half for The Seasiders – looking very accomplished in both positions.

Coming from Mansfield Town, the step up in class was huge for AJB, but displays like that of against PNE away at the beginning of April, where he dominated the very dangerous Ross Wallace, mean he’s a fully deserved winner of this trophy.

Let’s hope for many more years of Alex Baptiste plying his trade at Bloomfield Road, but for the meantime, congratulations.