Rushworth wins two player awards at Walsall

Young keeper recognised by teammates and Saddlers' supporters.

By Charlie Hanson • 10 May 2022

By Walsall FC
Carl Rushworth won the Players' Player of the season and the Supporters' Young Player of the Season awards.

Carl Rushworth has won Walsall’s Players’ Player of the Season and the Supporters’ Young Player of the Season at their end of season awards.

The 20-year-old made 43 League Two appearances on loan at the Banks’s Stadium and kept 11 clean sheets.

Delighted with both his awards, Rushworth was particularly pleased with the recognition from his teammates.

“The Players’ Player is the best award you can win,” he said. “It is a really nice honour and a great accomplishment personally.

By Walsall FC
The goalkeeper received his award in front of the Walsall fans ahead of their final game of the campaign on Saturday.

“I lived with two of the lads in the squad and that helped bring my character out and show my qualities in training and on the pitch, which earned the respect from the rest of the group.

“The supporters were class because I had their backing from the beginning. Even in the pre-season friendlies they never doubted me and they always encouraged me which made it easier to settle. It helped my development and it was nice to get their recognition with the supporters’ award.”

It’s been a campaign to remember for the Yorkshireman, who not only flourished with the Saddlers but also received a new contract with Albion as well as a call-up to the England Under-21s squad.

“At the start of the season I set some personal targets which I achieved. I wanted five clean sheets, to earn a new contract with Brighton and get a call-up from the England under-21s.

“When you’re in the moment and playing every week you don’t really realise what you’re achieving, but now the season has finished I can see how much my career has changed over the course of the last year.

“The cherry on top would have been making my England under-21 debut, but I am only 20 so there’s still plenty of time to work towards that and it’s great just being in the squad at this point.”

There were ups and downs with Walsall, but Rushworth says his favourite moment came after a defeat.

“Even though we lost, I think my favourite moment would be Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup. We went out on penalties, but it was my first clean sheet and I was buzzing after saving two penalties.

“After the game we went over to the fans and they were chanting my name and from then they always backed me. I gave the Doncaster fans a little bit of stick as well which I think helped!

“I reflect on the season with Walsall positively. I have played a lot of games and it’s been a really good learning experience.”