Reece James and Nathan Baxter win Player of the Year awards

Chelsea youngsters Reece James and Nathan Baxter have been recognised for their efforts on loan at Wigan Athletic and Yeovil Town respectively by winning the clubs’ Player of the Year awards.

James has been instrumental in helping Wigan stay in the Championship and received an astonishing 96 per cent of the votes from Latics supporters after an amazing first season in professional football, in which he has played at right-back and central midfield.

James was also voted Wigan’s Players’ Player of the Year, and to top it off he won the club’s Goal of the Season award for a brilliant hit away to Bristol City recently.

‘Thank you to my teammates, the supporters that voted for me and the manager and his staff,’ James said upon receiving the award. ‘It’s been so enjoyable.

‘I couldn’t have imagined this season going so well and everyone has made me so welcome from the start. I will never forget what this club has done for me.’

In his last appearance for Wigan in their victory over Millwall on Sunday, the 19-year-old was handed the captain’s armband and received a standing ovation when substituted a minute from time. He was Chelsea's Academy Player of the Year in 2018. 

Read our interview with Reece James from November about his development on loan

Meanwhile Nathan Baxter, the goalkeeper who has spent this campaign on loan at Yeovil Town in League Two, claimed all five of the club’s Player of the Season awards.

The 20-year-old, who achieved a similar feat at Woking last year, registered a club record six successive clean sheets during a turbulent season for Yeovil in which they were eventually relegated.

Baxter was recognised for his stellar displays at Huish Park by winning awards handed out by the Green & White Supporters Club, the Cary Glovers, the Disabled Supporters Association, and the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust. He was also named the Bobby Hamilton Young Player of the Season.

The duo follow Fikayo Tomori and Michael Hector as fellow Chelsea loanees who have won their club's chief end-of-season award. 

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