Doncaster Rovers midfielder James Coppinger is to be honoured with the celebrated Sir Tom Finney Award on the 2021 EFL Awards later this night.
Introduced stay on talkSPORT this afternoon, the 40-year old has racked up greater than 800 career appearances, having played at virtually each level of the English sport over the past twenty years.
In a career that has up to now spanned 21 seasons, Coppinger has made greater than 650 appearances for Doncaster Rovers alone. From Sunday League to the Premier League, he has a wealth of accolades to his identify throughout Sky Bet League One & Two, and additionally tasted success within the EFL Trophy in 2007.
The Sir Tom Finney Award is introduced to a player who has had an excellent career and contributed an distinctive amount to the EFL and football basically, one thing that Coppinger can actually lay declare to doing.
The Award, renamed in honour of Preston and England legend Sir Tom following his death in 2014, recognises Coppinger’s talent, dedication, and mannequin professionalism all through his career.
Reminiscing on his career to date, Coppinger said: “It has been an enormous a part of my life, 17 years at one football Club is a lifetime. Twenty-three years as a player, and to spend 17 years of that in a single place, it means all the things.
“To be at a Club like this and to have all of the particular moments and to share it with so many particular players, managers, and followers, it is meant all the things to me.”
Arguably Coppinger’s career-defining moment got here in 2013 at Griffin Park, with a final-day promotion-deciding fixture against Brentford in League One.
Needing a point to seal automated promotion, the award of a Brentford penalty within the 94th minute threatened to derail any hope of finishing contained in the top two. As an alternative, Doncaster went from agony to ecstasy in a matter of seconds.
Not solely did the home side miss the spot kick, however Doncaster would break, permitting Coppinger to faucet in from close vary. In that moment, he had sealed promotion with the last kick of the sport, but in addition secured the League One title.
“We have spoken about this many instances on the Club; you could not write a greater script than to score the winning goal within the last minute of the last sport of the season to win the league and go up as champions.
“For me personally, and collectively with the group that we had, we labored so hard. To win the league and to be champions, not many individuals expertise that all through their career, so for me to do that at Doncaster Rovers was most likely essentially the most particular moment I’ve had.”
A glittering career, along with his identify ceaselessly synonymous with Doncaster Rovers, the 40-year old is making ready for what lies subsequent.
He defined: “I have been making ready for this for an extended time, once you get to 40 it isn’t a shock that you need to retire. I’ve virtually felt such as you do folks an injustice once you’re feeling match and you are performing to retire.
“I’ve bought different issues going on, I have been working with players and mentoring them on psychological performance, a kicks franchise and kicks academy, which all excite me once I do retire.”
The EFL Awards happen on Thursday 29 April stay on Sky Sports activities Football, when winners from throughout all three divisions might be recognised for his or her achievements, each on and off the pitch, together with the announcement of the Sky Bet Player of the Season for the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two.