Tom heaps the praise on his team mates
Tom Pope won the League Two Player of the Year award on Sunday night, but back at Vale Park the striker typically deflected praise from himself on to his team mates.
Recognising the work his fellow players have put in so far this season, he refused to let it go to his head and in fact would swap it right now for a guaranteed promotion.
He said: “It’s a great achievement and something I am really proud of, but it’s a reflection on the team and not just myself. Everybody who watches me knows I am not a player that has scored 27 goals out of nothing or beating two or three players.
“I rely heavily on my teammates getting balls into the box to me for me to get my goals. It has been a great season for me but that is down to my team mates.
“I worked hard over the summer and came back fit, had a decent pre-season with the gaffer. I was scoring plenty of goals in pre-season and I have carried that on.
“My confidence was high and I was on fire early on in the season and that is when the team was at its best.
“I have got nothing to be arrogant about, it has just been one season and I am not going to get carried away with any individual awards I get.
“It is a great achievement for me, but it’s not going to mean anything to me if the club doesn’t get promoted - that’s the aim, that’s what we train every day for and that’s what we play every weekend for.
“It’s a season-long sport and any individual achievements and records are great as an individual, but they come to nothing if you don’t get promotion.
“I think all the goal scoring records before me all came in promotion-winning seasons so we need to finish the job that we have started and hopefully we can do that.
There was no time to celebrate after picking up the award as Tom had to make sure he was home and rested in time for training on Monday morning.
Tom revealed: “I was delighted to win, but it’s not something I have been allowed to dwell on because as soon as the Awards Night finished I was driving back up the motorway and getting ready for training today.
“It wasn’t one of those after-show four o’clock in the morning drinking champagne; I was drinking coffee on the services and driving back up the motorway.
“But of course I am proud. It’s a great achievement for a local lad who has tried his best and had a good season, but like I said, it would mean nowhere near as much to me if the club doesn’t get out of the division.”