Salford City supporters have paid tribute to goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky who has been crowned the club’s player of the season.
The Czech, ever present throughout the 2020/21 campaign, also swooped the League Two Golden Glove award after keeping an incredible 22 clean sheets.
Congratulations to our Player of the Season for 2020-21…
🥁 drum roll please 🥁 @VaclavHladky 👐
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) May 24, 2021
Hladky, 30, signed a two-year deal at the Peninsula last summer following an 18-month spell in the Scottish Premier League with St Mirren.
The former Czech Republic under 20s international, became an instant Ammies hero when he saved a decisive penalty on his competitive debut when City beat Rotherham United in a Carabao cup first round penalty shootout.
In a memorable season, Hladky was one of the Wembley heroes in Salford City’s Papa John’s Trophy final triumph, saving another crucial penalty in the shootout against Portsmouth.
The Player of the year award is voted for by the fans who have made their opinion known on Salford’s number 1:
“Yes, he got my vote. For me he was the stand-out player of the season,” said Salford City supporter Paul Turner.
“I think he has been the signing of the decade. He’s clearly capable of playing at a higher level.
“He is a great shot-stopper and has played a pivotal part in ensuring Salford had the best defensive record in League Two. He has a great presence on the pitch and is very vocal in marshalling the defence. I suspect his abilities inspire confidence in those around him.”
Fellow Ammie, Dave Farrar agrees that Hladky deserves the award saying:
“Hladky 100% man of the season, far too good for League 2.
“He is consistent, organised the defence well and makes crucial saves.
“He was the difference in the Papa John’s Final. When he made that save you knew it was ours.”
— Papa John's Trophy (@PapaJohnsTrophy) March 13, 2021
Hladky’s important penalty save is sure to be one that engraves his name in Salford City folklore forever, helping the club win their first ever domestic trophy.
The 6ft 2in goalkeeper has a knack for saving big penalties, with a season-defining performance in St Mirren’s 2019 relegation playoff penalty shootout against Dundee, where he stopped three out of the four penalties he faced. An emotional Hladky dedicated the victory to his best friend Josef Sural, who died in a bus crash a month prior.
The club announced the award on social media yesterday with supporters letting their feelings known.
Twitter user Chris Bacon (@ChrisPBacin) said: “Fantastic player. Saved us many points this last season. Easy choice for player of the season.”
Another Harry Millan (@harmag_harry) tweeted: “Not in the least surprised outstanding keeper.”
Salford City’s head of goalkeeping Carlo Nash (@carlonash1973) even took to Twitter saying: “Fantastic personal achievement this season @VaclavHladky another well deserved accolade.”