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Hulse - Player of the Season


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Rob Hulse will crown an impressive debut season in Derby County colours by this afternoon picking up the Jack Stamps Trophy.

The 29-year-old received over 45 per cent of votes to become the supporters' player of the year after a campaign that has seen him hit 17 goals in all competitions.

Hulse has made more appearances than any other Derby player this season, lining up in 52 of the club's 55 games so far, and has been rewarded by the club's faithful.

He feels the prize is a "massive honour" - particularly because it is voted for by the fans, who have seen his performances week-in week-out during 2008/09.

He said: "I am really pleased to accept the award. It has been a tough season, especially trying to settle in after coming to the club, but I am delighted by this.

"It means a lot to me because the fans pay their money and come every week and I really do appreciate it.

"This is not something I am taking lightly. It is a great accolade and hopefully put on a good show for them against Charlton to make sure we're mathematically safe."

Hulse joined from Sheffield United last summer in a deal worth £1.75m and got his goalscoring account underway in September's 2-1 win against his former club.

He was named as the Powerade Player of the Month for October and has been a constant figure in Derby's line-up during the campaign.

Fourteen of his goals have come in the Coca-Cola Championship including several vital match-winners, and he has particularly prospered since the turn of the year.

His other three strikes have all come in the FA Cup - the first at Forest Green, to help Derby recover from potential humiliation against the non-leaguers, the Rams' strike in the initial game against Nottingham Forest, and the first in the dramatic recovery at the City Ground.

Supporters have added their praise for Hulse's performances, with season ticket holder Richard Shaw picking out "the goals he has scored, the contribution he makes to the defence, and his perseverance in spite of persistent fouling".

Rob Davies added: He holds the ball up extremely well, puts his body on the line and brings other players in to the game. He has made a fantastic contribution to the team, not just the 17 goals he has scored but his whole work ethic and never say die attitude."

Hulse will receive the Jack Stamps Trophy from 1997 winner Chris Powell ahead of this afternoon's kick-off against Charlton Athletic.

And also before the game, manager Nigel Clough will present the Sammy Crooks Trophy to the club's young player of the year.

That prize will go to Academy graduate Miles Addison, who broke through to the first-team in August and didn't look back until his campaign was unfortunately ended by injury in February.

Addison, previously a centre-half, came in to the middle of midfield and gave countless powerhouse performances.

He even returned to defence early in 2009 and did not look out of place as he continued to make great strides in his fledgling career.


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