Jack Coop was the big winner as he scooped three awards at Prestwich Heys’ end-of-season awards evening.

While the 2020/21 season might have been curtailed earlier than hoped due to the pandemic, it’s still a season that will go down in the history books for Heys.

The club were granted promotion to the NWCL Premier Division for the first time ever last week, under the FA Restructure of the non-league pyramid based on points-per-game over the last two seasons.

Matt Barnes and his players managed six league games this season, in between the multiple national lockdowns and in that time, they managed a comfortable 5-2 victory away at Daisy Hill, as well as a memorable 2-1 win at Bury AFC, thanks to an added-time winner from star striker Jack Coop.

They also kept themselves busy by playing 18 friendlies.

The players, staff, and other club figures converged at Hotel Football, near Manchester United’s Old Trafford for the event, organised to celebrate not only the individual achievements of some of the players, but also as a general celebration of promotion.

The first award made was the Fans’ Player of the Season with Coop the winner after scoring nine league goals in just six games and an additional nine in the aforementioned friendlies.

This was followed up by the Young Player of the Year, with the nominees being Joe Rothwell, Scott Cullen and Oli Scott.

The winner of the award was Rothwell, for his impressive, consistent performances, as well as operating as both a full-back and midfield, showing the versatility he brings to the side.

Departing club captain Jacob Holt was present, and he gave out the award for Players’ Player of the Year. Coop collected his second award of the night, for proving himself invaluable to the team with his contributions in front of goal.

Barnes then presented the Manager’s Player of the Year, and the nominees were new captain Brad Sixsmith, veteran Anthony Potts and Nathan Emery. The winner was Emery, for his consistently excellent performances as a left-back, as well as his attacking contributions.

The final award was for goal of the season, and there was only ever going to be one winner for this – Coop’s added-time winner against Bury AFC took the plaudits, and completed a hat-trick of awards for a key man at Heys.

On promotion, boss Barnes: “We’re elated and relieved. It’s something that I and the club have worked on, and we’re so happy to be there.

“It’s about the club as a whole and we’ve achieved what we set out to do, and we are where we want to be.

“It’s an exciting league, but we need to be cautious and realistic, we’re not the favourites, but I know, and Sean Cookson (assistant manager) knows, we’re going to do something special. “

Cookson added: “It’s a credit to the lads, for all the hard work they’ve put in over a very difficult 18 months.

“There are a few standout teams in the Premier Division. I am particularly looking forward to games against Padiham, Northwich Victoria, and the one that stands out to everyone is Macclesfield.

“We’re hoping for a very successful season against very difficult sides.”