Murray named player of month at Clevedon
- Credit: pitchero.com/clubs/clevedontown
Clevedon Town have revealed Jay Murray as their player of the month for December.
The club managed to complete three wins in three games, despite restrictions to deal with coronavirus, in the Toolstation Western League and FA Vase last month.
And Murray was their outstanding performer in that sequence, although he missed out on making his 50th appearance for the club when their December 30 fixture with Plymouth Parkway was postponed.
Having signed for the Seasiders in August 2019, following an impressive display against them for Odd Down, Murray made his debut as a substitute in a 3-0 home win over Cribbs.
He scored seven goals in his first eight starts and ended the season with 29 appearances, including nine as a substitute, and nine goals to finish second behind top scorer Lucas Vowles.
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Murray is one of only two players to have been ever-present during the 2020-21 season, making 18 starts and featuring in all 20 games played to date, matching last term's haul of nine goals.
He has played a key role in the team's run to the last 32 of the FA Vase and scored in every round, netting both goals in a 2-0 win at Axminster, the winner in a 2-1 victory over Whitchurch United, a late decider in a 4-3 triumph over Bitton and a penalty in the 2-0 success over New Milton.
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Sam Hibbs, from award sponsor CTFC Walking Footballers, said: "Jay's effort is always outstanding and this stood out particularly for fans in December.
"Even on heavy pitches, he never stops running and challenging for every ball, including headers. Having scored two important goals in the month and picking up man of the match in the Chipping Sodbury game, he thoroughly deserved the December player of the month award."
Murray is following in the footsteps of father Scott, who started as a 16-year-old in the Highland League in Scotland with Fraserburgh and went on to play over 600 games as a professional, including two spells at Bristol City.
Having played for the Bristol Academy and briefly for Congresbury, the younger Murray joined Odd Down when Lee Rendall - Clevedon's current assistant manager - was in charge.
Rendall said: "I remember taking Jay up to Odd Down a couple of years ago and waived an approach form from Hengrove to give him game time, which at the time I couldn't give him.
"Having torn us apart later in that season, I spoke to him about a return and he smashed it. He was absolutely flying at the start of the 2019-20 season when we had him scoring and putting in man of the match performances.
"After another great game at Clevedon, Micky Bell put in seven days notice of approach for him and he signed for Clevedon, which was very annoying for me at the time, when little did I know I would also end up here!
"He is now in my opinion one of our main men, he has gone from just being a winger to a fully fledged goalscoring forward and it's personally very pleasing to see.
"He is a great lad and is just as influential off the pitch as he is a proper little joker. I strongly believe that the group of lads he is involved with here has played a big part in his rapid development this season, just as much as how he has been coached by the management and these ingredients have simply brought the best ouf of Jay as well as a few others.
"Sadly though, the start-stop season has been really annoying as I think Jay would've gone on and challenged at the top end of the League scoring charts, in turn helping us challenge as a team at the right end of the league.
"I’m personally very proud of how well Jay has done as I saw the potential in him a couple of years back and it’s great that he is now realising it."