West Ham United midfielder Tomáš Souček has been named 2019 Czech Footballer of the Year.
The 25-year-old, who is currently on loan at the Hammers from Czech First League champions Slavia Prague, won the acclaim of managers, captains, his fellow Czech Republic internationals and sports journalists.
Souček, who enjoyed an outstanding year for club and country, easily beat Sevilla goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík and Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida into second and third place respectively, receiving 760 votes to Vaclík’s 299 and Darida’s 275.
The central midfielder was inspirational in 2019, leading Slavia to the Czech First League title and the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals in the first half of the year, before helping Czech Republic qualify automatically for the UEFA European Championship finals and starring for Slavia in the UEFA Champions League in the latter half.
The Havlickuv Brod-born player was honoured to win an award that has previously recognised the likes of Czech greats Patrik Berger, Pavel Nedvěd, Karel Poborský, Tomáš Rosický and Petr Čech.
I always admired those who were winning the Footballer of the Year awards, and now I am among them
“When I was young, I always admired those who were winning the Footballer of the Year awards, Nedvěd, Rosický, Čech and many more, and now I am among them,” Souček confirmed.
“It’s strange feeling, I cannot really describe it. I always wanted to play in the first league, to win the title, to try some foreign league, but Footballer of the Year? I have never been thinking about it. Now I must say thank you to many people!”
Souček has impressed in Claret and Blue since joining the Hammers in January, making four Premier League appearances, and will hope to inspire West Ham to safety when David Moyes’ side return to action.