Date: 12th November 2012 at 11:11pm
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Blackpool captain Alex Baptiste has won the North West Championship Player of the Year award.

The centre half fought off former Burnley, now Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, who made a 7 million pound move to the South Coast over the summer, to win the award after another impressive year at the heart of the Blackpool defence.

The award signals his progress made by Baptiste, who joined Blackpool under Simon Grayson in 2008, as he has become a key figure in a Blackpool side that has progressed immeasurably in his 4 years at the club. He has made 167 appearances since signing from Mansfield Town, scoring 8 goals.

He was named the Blackpool Fan’s Player of the Year in 2012, and first captained the side during Barry Ferguson’s absence in January, and has since become the side’s regular leader since Ferguson’s departure to Fleetwood Town.

Baptiste was linked with a move back to the Premiership over the summer, but has signalled his intention to lead Blackpool back to the top flight.

Tom Ince was also nominated for the Rising Star award, but lost out to Liverpool and England full back Martin Kelly.