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Rafael Wins The Tilehurst End Player Of The Season Award For 2019/20

Huge congratulations to the Brazilian after a superb debut season in Berkshire.

Birmingham City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium Photo by Morgan Harlow/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

The Tilehurst End Player of the Season award has a history of producing a different winner to the club’s official accolade - Andy Yiadom, Mo Barrow, Yann Kermorgant and Oliver Norwood are previous recipients of our prestigious trophy. However this year, there was no disparity.

That’s because your votes have selected Rafael Cabral as The Tilehurst End’s best player for 2019/20!

Huge congratulations to the goalkeeper, who joined Reading on a free transfer (what an incredible bit of business!) from Sampdoria last summer and quickly became a reliable presence between the sticks. From his penalty heroics on his debut against Wycombe, to a magnificent triple save on New Year’s Day against Fulham, Rafael has consistently excelled.

The 30-year-old kept 13 clean sheets in 46 appearances in all competitions, the most of any Royals keeper in their debut season at the club this century. He also stood out in a number of other statistics including save percentage (second highest in the Championship) and shots per goal conceded, earning multiple plaudits from those outside of Reading as well.

Off the pitch, the Brazilian has gone from not being able to speak a word of English in his first interview to chatting with detail and consideration almost fluently for five and a half minutes after the final game of the season. He really seems to be one of the game’s good guys and Reading are lucky to have someone of his ilk at the club.

It certainly wasn’t a landslide victory for Rafael however, as runner-up John Swift came incredibly close to taking the crown as you can see below. Yakou Meite finished third, fourth place was Michael Morrison and Ovie Ejaria ranked fifth.

Full voting results

We asked you to rank our nominees from first (highest) to fifth (lowest). Every first place vote earned five points, second place four points, and so on.

The Tilehurst End Player of the Season 2019/20 Results

Player Total points
Player Total points
Rafael Cabral 256
John Swift 247
Yakou Meite 178
Michael Morrison 164
Ovie Ejaria 160