Hartlepool Utd’s Flinders is SportMail player of the year

Scott Flinders. Picture by FRANK REID
Scott Flinders. Picture by FRANK REID

SCOTT Flinders has completed his Player of the Year haul having today been crowned SportMail’s star of the season.

And the goalkeeper admits that, relegation aside, he is proud of his own progress over the past 12 months.

Flinders, still just 26 years old, has matured into one of the best netminders ever to don the club’s colours and his quadruple sweep of this year’s annual awards bears testament to his performance.

Our prize is in addition to the Fans’, Players’ and Away Player of the Season trophies.

And Flinders told SportMail today: “When you’re wrapped up in the season and the relegation fight then it (prospect of awards) is not really something which sinks in.

“You know if you’re playing well or not but you’re not really pitching yourself against others.

“But looking back now on the season, as an individual, then it has been pleasing, it’s been my best season yet without doubt.

“I’m proud of how I have done this year.”

He went on: “Any award is nice and to have won four is brilliant.

“The press are there week in, week out and their say on matters is valid so I’m thankful for this latest one.

“So these awards give me something to take into next season and hopefully I can improve again.”

Despite conceding five on the opening day of the season at Crewe Alexandra back in August, Flinders has been above criticism for the entirety of the campaign and has, on too many occasions, been left brutally exposed.

His efforts, however, could not prevent relegation and Pools will be lining up in League Two next term.

And Flinders reflects: “Coming into this season it was my first year as a fully-fledged senior pro.

“Some people say 26 is young for a goalkeeper but I feel like a senior player now and I think I’ve shown that.

“I’ve had a lot to do at times and, if it meant we were winning, I would have happily settled for less.

“But I’ve still had to make a lot of important saves which have meant something in terms of results and keeping the fight alive.

“We did keep it going longer than perhaps a lot of people expected, but we still weren’t good enough over the course of a season.

“When the relegation was confirmed it hurt but we could have no complaints.”