Recovery year inspires Butler
IPSWICH Knights player of the year Chris Butler is keen to return to the club next season after the challenging year he's just enjoyed.
However, it wasn't only helping the club avoid relegation that gave the former Lions, Brisbane Force and Olympic defender satisfaction.
Butler played in 19 matches for his new team, having successfully managed his osteitis pubis condition that had troubled him the previous two seasons.
"The body feels good," Butler said, recovering from a big night partying at the Knights annual awards.
"It was a good year to get back into it. The first year back after being out a few years and playing some half decent footy."
While he was a bit sluggish yesterday, it had nothing to do with the osteitis that previously stopped him from running for 10 months at a time.
Butler said it was pleasing playing so much football this year in an environment where he made some terrific friends.
"I want to stay," Butler, 25, said when asked his next season's goals.
"I'm doing some stuff in the off-season to try and keep fit."
That includes playing indoor football and six-a-side games.
The dependable central defender was one of four players recognised for their special efforts in this year's Brisbane Premier League where the Knights top side finished mid-table.
The BPL competition's Gold Medal Player of the Year Igor Sao Jose collected the Knights Players' Player award at Bundamba on Saturday night.
Sao Jose's earlier Gold Medal was the first time since Andy Ogden in 1989 that a Knights top grader had won Football Brisbane's highest accolade.
Butler said his captain was most deserving of both honours, along with the Knights other major award winners Mitchell Bird (Rookie of the Year) and Daniel Cunha (Golden Boot).
"Birdie was really good. He sort of came out of nowhere for a young fella," Butler said.
"Igor was a quality player."
While surprised to win his award, Butler said sharing in the club's emotional last-ditch bid to stay in the Brisbane Premier League was rewarding.
"The last week was awesome," the 193cm tall defender said.
"We had to win both games (against Capalaba). They were pretty special moments.
"Probably one of my best moments ever."
Knights Reserve grade coach Chris Brown was thrilled to see exciting talents Jasper Yeuell (Players' Player) and Daniel Blom (Player of the Year) recognised at the annual awards function.
Both made outstanding contributions, showing the club has some fine players to continue developing.
He rated the club's Reserve grade season a success after recovering from a shaky start to help the club avoid relegation.
"We got the job done in the end," Brown said, having taken over mid-season in a coaching reshuffle.
"Our team, when we took over, we got 21 points and Lions won the comp with 46 points so technically the second half we matched it with the best.
"Next year, we're going to push for finals football and we won't accept anything less."
2014 Ipswich Knights award winners
- Brisbane Premier League : Player of the Year: Chris Butler. Players' Player: Igor Sao Jose. Rookie of the Year: Mitchell Bird. Golden Boot: Daniel Cunha.
- BPL Reserves: Player of the Year: Daniel Blom. Players' Player: Jasper Yeull. Golden Boot: Mitch Davis.
- Under 18: Player of the Year: Alex Pezzimenti. Players' Player: Josh Magee.
- Women's Premier League : Player of the Year: April Albury. Players' Player: Rhiannon Matthews. Rookie of the Year: Gabrielle Hein.
- City 6: Player of the Year: Lucas Wilson. Players' Player: Lucas Wilson.
- City 4: Player of the year: Daniel Scholes. Players' Player: Anthony Scholes.