Tommy Smith the Ipswich fans' player of year

Last updated 10:23 30/04/2013
Tommy Smith
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TOP ACCOLADE: Tommy Smith (right) has been voted the Ipswich Town fans' player of the year.

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All Whites defender Tommy Smith has been voted Ipswich Town's supporters' player of the year.

It completes a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the 23-year-old centre back, who endured a difficult start to the 2012-13 English Championship (second tier) campaign.

The East Anglian club was rooted to the bottom of the table under manager Paul Jewell at the end of October, having suffered a 6-0 loss at Blackpool and a humiliating League Cup defeat at Carlisle.

Smith, in particular, came in for criticism from fans and was dropped from the side, with loan player Danny Higginbotham taking his place.

The All White, who has made 22 international appearances, appeared to be out in the cold and was reportedly considering his future when Jewell was dismissed and former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy took charge.

Despite a couple of heavy defeats (5-0 at Crystal Palace and 6-0 at Leicester), McCarthy drafted Smith back into the back four and gradually steadied the ship.

In the past six months, Smith has been a vital part of Ipswich's remarkable transformation. They are currently 11th, having lost just one of their past nine games.

Smith has scored four goals this campaign and is being touted as a future Ipswich captain.

He was delighted with the award.

"It's a proud moment. The fans have always backed me from when I was in the youth team and it's a brilliant feeling to be receiving this award," he said.

"I never gave up. I thought at one point maybe my time was up, but obviously I've now got myself in the team and hopefully I can go from strength to strength."

Town's final game of the season is at Burnley this weekend. 

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- Fairfax Media

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Opinion poll

What do you make of Tommy Smith's decision not to play for the All Whites?

It's fair enough. He's already got a massive workload.

He's been a great servant for the All Whites. His request not to play is fine by me.

It's disappointing to say the least. What happened to national pride?

It's unbelievable. He shouldn't be picked for NZ again.

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