May 15 2012
Jonathan Parr's Crystal Palace Player of the Year award is fully deserved, writes Daniel Gibbs.
Playing almost 80 matches since March 2011, it’s fair to say Jonathan Parr has been looking forward to his summer holidays for some time.
And what a way to begin his well-earned break by taking the honour of Crystal Palace Player of the Year at the annual awards ceremony. For some fans it may come as a bit of a surprise that Parr won the prestigious award.
The neutrals would have been expecting the likes of Julian Speroni, Wilfried Zaha, Darren Ambrose and Nathaniel Clyne to feature in among the contenders, but looking back over the season Parr has been a clear favourite since he came to SE25 in July last year.
The 23-year-old Norwegian, being played as a left-winger and left-back throughout the season has made a huge impact in his debut season for the Eagles. His relentless work rate and enthusiasm to put in 100 per cent every single game has seen him become a fans' favourite.
His adaptable playing style makes him a reliable player for any manager when going through injury troubled periods of which we have so badly suffered this season.
The 5ft 11, blond haired, blue eyed footballer is perhaps not your stereotypical left wingback, but his quick pace, expertly-poised crosses into the opposition’s penalty box and the odd flair of a trick or two makes him that player football fans crave.
Being consistent week in week out is always a key attribute to look for in a Player of the Year winner and with Parr it is evident he succeeds in this field. Missing the final penalty in the semi-final of the League Cup against Cardiff being the only noticeable slight downer on English soil in his first season.
Prior to Parr’s progression into the Palace first team, the Norwegian had a very successful career in his home country. Making 129 appearances for Aalesunds in a three-year period, Parr helped the club to its first Norwegian Cup in its history and having been a regular in Norway’s Under 21 side, Parr has since been capped six times for his national side.
At Selhurst he’s only been on the scoresheet twice in 38 appearances but this doesn’t take away from the countless times he’s stopped a midfielder getting a ball into the box. His precision in his execution of tackles and his attacking mentality is enough to satisfy the Palace fans.
Parr is a credit to Crystal Palace Football Club and I, along with the rest of the Palace supporters look forward to seeing more impressive performances from him next season. Congratulations to Parr, it's fully deserved.
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