Midfielder Luke Joyce was the proud recipient of the PFA Community Player of the Year award at the Community Sports Trust awards on Tuesday evening having worked closely with Jigsaw Hospice on visits and projects this year.
Speaking after receiving the award, he said: “I’m really proud that it’s happened. We don’t do the work we do in the community to get things like this, but it is nice to be awarded it.
“Being honest, it’s a trophy that recognises the work the whole squad does, not just myself. We’re out meeting people and children on a weekly basis, but I am chuffed to bits to receive it.”
“The good thing is that we all enjoy the community appearances,” he added. “You can see from the updates and social media coverage we get that we look forward to it, and you can’t beat it when you see smiles on faces. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.
“I know I’ve been highlighted this year for the visits to Jigsaw Hospice and that’s something else I’m proud of. It’s just a wonderful place and the work the staff do is amazing.
“The children who go there are always so happy and the parents always seem to enjoy us going along as well. If we can go in there and help out in any way possible then we’re more than happy to do that. I’ve taken a lot out of the visits myself because it’s a place that makes you think about things in a different way.”
“Being at the awards evening also opens your eyes to the amount of work going on behind the scenes,” he commented. “There are so many different projects happening away from the football and John Halpin and his team do an excellent job.
“The community come out and help us on a Saturday afternoon and a Tuesday night, so it’s only right that we do what we can to meet and help them in return.”
And on football related matters, he said: “We were really disappointed to give away the two-goal lead at the weekend. We’d got ourselves into a commanding position, so you don’t expect to drop any points when it’s like that at home.
“We were gutted not to get the three points because we know how important it is at this stage of the season. What we focus on now is that we’re six unbeaten, and that means we aren’t doing too badly.
“The response has to be three points on Saturday against Cambridge United. That’ll be a tough game, but we’ll be working hard this week and we’ll go out there at the weekend aiming for the win.
“The lads have been upbeat in training because we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Games like that happen during a season so we need to manage the disappointment and use it as a motivation to go again.
“It’s a cliché but all we can do now is focus on the next game. It’s a boring old answer but the next one is always the most important. If we can win that it’ll set us on the right foot to go into the Easter weekend, which could be a massive one for us.”
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