Michael Kightly has admitted his joy at being named in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Championship Team of the Year claiming the award, which he shares with two of his Wolverhampton Wanderers’ team-mates, means so much more because it was voted for by their peers.
The Wanderers’ winger has been out for several weeks with a broken metartarsal but still made it into the team named this week at a glittering awards presentation at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Kightly was named among the season’s top Championship players along with team-mates Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Richard Stearman and admitted it was great for the club in a week when they have also secured promotion to the Barclay’s Premier League and won the Coca-Cola Championship title to boot.
Kightly said: “It’s great that the three of us have all got in and to be honest I was also a bit surprised our right-back Kevin Foley wasn’t included – he must have been close. It’s a great achievement for us all and also for the club as a whole.
It’s always particularly nice in these awards that the votes have come from the players you come up against. It’s a sign that other players in the Championship rate your ability and I’m buzzing to be in there as Sylv and Stears are as well.”
The Wolves trio were with their team-mates at the awards’ ceremony and all are relishing the chance to lift the Championship trophy on Sunday when they face Doncaster Rovers in the final game of the season.
Kightly said being named in the PFA’s winning side had been an honour.
“I’ve not been in the team before, in my first year I think I probably arrived too late and then last season I was out for a long time with injury. But it is one of the goals you set yourself at the start of the season, to tryto be thought of as one of the best players in the division and I’m really pleased that it’s happened. It’s a good finish to the season for me.”
Kightly has put the disappointment of missing the end-of-season run-in behind him. “Obviously I was down that I’d miss the final few games of the season after picking up my injury so it has given me a boost knowing that people have recognised that I’ve done well this year,” he said. “Scoring eight goals and chipping in with 19 assists has made it a good season for me and then to see the lads clinch promotion, followed by the title, has topped it off.
“It’s still disappointing not to be out there on the pitch but I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game.”