Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubrvka was awarded the North East Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year for 2018 over the weekend for the excellent campaign he enjoyed at St James’s Park.
Dubravka, who only joined the Magpies in the middle of last year, has been instrumental to Newcastle’s survival this season and has grown into one of the main players in the squad.
In what has been quite a turbulent campaign so far for Rafa Benitez’s men, recent results have been positive for the club and the fans have been given reason to be optimistic about the future after a famous win over Manchester City at the end of January.
The 30-year-old Dubravka has made one or two big errors this season but has responded brilliantly with consistent performances that have given the club an excellent base to achieve good results.
The recognition he’s received this weekend should also be encouragement to him to keep on working hard and continue delivering solid showings at the back.
Benitez struggled to get his team organised at the back for the first-half of the season but recently players like Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune have formed solid partnerships at the back, which has helped Dubravka tremendously in-goal.
The Newcastle defensive unit now looks composed and settled and with Dubravka at the heart, it could steer the club to more important results as the season comes to an end.
Newcastle, however, are still only a point above the relegation zone in 16th spot and will be eager to build on their recent successes.
They will therefore need the likes of Dubravka and the club’s senior group of players to remain calm and keep the team focused going forward in order to remain in the Premier League for next season.
The Slovakian international, though, has a lot of experience to his name and has proven this season that he knows how to dig deep and encourage his fellow teammates.