THE Star and Green ‘Un Doncaster Rovers’ Player of the Season Trophy has pride of place in Simon Gillett’s home.
The award the industrious midfielder picked up at the annual presentation evening on Sunday night is the first that he has ever won.
The former Southampton ace proved a worthy winner, however, for he has played in every game this season and started in all but three and has been remarkably consistent throughout a difficult campaign for the club.
“We’ve had quite a lot of players and I think we might have used the most in the Championship this season,” said Gillett, who was surprised to win the award.
“So I’m obviously delighted to play as many games as I have. It’s good to be a regular because as a professional you always want to be playing.”
Rovers played an incredible nine games in March and Gillett appeared in them all.
“That was a tough month,” he recalled. “You just have to try and recover the best you can and do the right things. We had good warm downs and ate the right food and that makes a big difference. If you look after yourself you can do it.”
He added: “Obviously to have played in every game you have to be lucky with injuries and I have been. I’ve had the odd knock but nothing serious whereas last season I had a knee ligament injury.
“I work hard in training and try and give myself the best chance of doing what I love doing and that is playing football. For me if I’m not playing I’m not a nice person to be around.
“I try and give my all every game and I expect to come in after a game as tired as I can be.”
As well as covering a tremendous amount of ground during a game, Gillett also boasts a good boot and is never afraid to try his luck from up to 25 yards out.
Yet that is an aspect of his game he feels that he can improve upon.
“I’m disappointed that I’ve only got three goals this season; I set myself a target of around eight goals,” he said.
“I feel that I get in some good positions and whether it’s because I’ve not been seen or haven’t finished the chances I don’t know, it’s an area of my game I need to improve.”
Like the rest of his team-mates, Gillett makes no secret of the fact that he is gutted that Rovers have been relegated.
But he said he never thought that relegation to League One was a foregone conclusion.
“I always thought that we could get out of trouble.”
Gillett is one of the dozen or so players out of contract and said: “I’d like to still be here next season. I’m sure that the club could get straight out of League One if we can keep the core of the side together.
“At the end of the day it all comes down to what budget the club have got.”