Defender reflects on 2014/15 after picking up silverwareExeter City defender Christian Ribeiro collected a hat-trick of silverware at the End of Season Awards, and was delighted to be recognised on a personal level for a productive season.
He was named as the Exeter City Player of the Season 2014/15 the previous afternoon following the Exeter City v Dagenham & Redbridge fixture, after securing the most votes from supporters. He Christian was formally presented with the award at the End of Season Ball and an additional two supporters’ groups – the East Devon Grecians and the Norwegian Grecians – also made him their pick of the season.
Amongst the comments left by supporters who voted for him were, ‘overall consistency’, ‘great character’ and ‘beautiful hair’.
And Christian was particularly grateful to his teammates, the management, staff and supporters for making his first year as a Grecian an enjoyable one.
“It is the first time I’ve won an award like this – I was over the moon,” said Christian. “As a player you always strive to be one of the players of the season, and I’m really grateful that I’ve achieved it.
“If I’d had the opportunity to make a speech, I’d have really liked to have been able to thank all of the players and staff who I’ve really enjoyed training with and working with day-in day-out. They have been absolutely brilliant all year.
“All of the support I’ve received through the fans and everyone at the club has helped to make it the most enjoyable season of my career to date. So I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone – it has been a great year.
“It is a very tight-knit group of people at Exeter. Everyone is really down-to-earth and everyone genuinely wants everyone else to do well, and that has been really refreshing to be part of that atmosphere.
“The longer you stay at Exeter, the more you realise that – it’s a family club and it’s a special club. Until you’ve been there, you don’t realise how good it is, and that’s how I firmly feel.
“It has been so enjoyable this year to play football and I’ve just been able to go out there and perform like I know I can. I really can’t speak highly enough of everyone here.”
Christian’s competitive debut for the Grecians didn’t come until September – the transfer embargo meant his signature was added late, and he picked up an injury just before it was lifted that delayed his start even further.
But he would go on to play 39 times in Exeter colours – more appearances than any of his campaigns to date.
That showed a remarkable turnaround after leaving Scunthorpe United last summer and being without a club.
“From where it started for me last summer, to come in and manage to finish on a high – it has been a long journey and a lot of hard work and effort has gone into it,” Christian continued.
“But I never lost belief in myself and what I knew I could achieve. And I’m just thankful I got the opportunity at Exeter to start rebuilding my career.
“It is amazing how things can change in football all the time. I was without a club last year and wondering whether I was going to have a job at all, and I’ve finished this season feeling so positives.
“That’s football – there are ups and downs all the time but it’s nice to be in a positive place.”