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Player of the Season Sebastian Prödl dedicates his award to the Golden Boys' greatest ever Manager

“I Dedicate It To Graham Taylor”

  
    

Sebastian Prödl showed a moment's surprise when his name was announced for a second time at the Hornets' End of Season Awards. 

His winning-battle with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Hornets' 3-1 win over Manchester United notched the Individual Performance Award, but silently he must have expected to challenge for that one. 

Rarely caught off-guard, he certainly was when applause filled the room at the news he was to be the first Graham Taylor OBE Player of the Season.

Not that he should have been surprised. He pipped Heurelho Gomes to the prize by 24 votes out of thousands, and when you consider the season our rubber-wristed goalkeeper had, you get an idea of just how much the Austrian cap's campaign was appreciated by Watford fans. 

The towering defender has only once in his career made more appearances during a season, at Werder Bremen in 2010/11.

Avoiding injuries, for the most part, was key, as was a trust placed in him by outgoing Head Coach Walter Mazzarri. Prödl made sure to mention the Italian in his acceptance speech. 

Prödl and Ibrahimovic battle it out at Vicarage Road

Prödl joins a decorated list of Golden Boys. Porter and Page, Mooney and Mahon. In fact, five of his predecessors were in the room at Wembley Stadium - teammates Mariappa, Deeney, Cleverley and Gomes, plus Hall of Famer Tommy Smith.

And the Hornets' number five seemed genuinely humbled by the recognition, speaking moments after he left the stage. 

“I think it will,” he said, when it was put to him that the award might go down as one of his proudest moments.

“I don't realise it this evening, but once I'm on my holidays, of course I will remember this season as a very good one from a personal point of view.

“This award means a lot to me, the Graham Taylor Player of the Season Award. Graham Taylor was a big manager for this club, I met him once. 

“I dedicate it to him. I know how important he is for this club. He will go down in history, and this award will go down in my own history.”

    
  

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