JAKE Buxton says the past year with Derby County ranks up there with his season at Burton Albion as the best of his footballing career.
The popular defender was named Club Player of the Year at the Rams awards night last night and cut an emotional figure afterwards.
Asked if 2013/14, which has seen Derby reach the Championship play-offs in swashbuckling style, was his biggest season, Buxton said: "I'd say it was.
"The Burton season was the most important one.
"This one has been a great one, not only for myself but for everyone involved at Derby County, and also for my family.
"It's proved to a lot of people that I'm not bad to say I was a free (transfer) from Burton."
Buxton was also recently named as the Supporters Club's Player of the Year.
Elsewhere last night, Craig Bryson collected the Players’ Player of the Year Award, to add to the coveted Jack Stamps Trophy as the fans' player-of-the-year, which he received ahead of last Saturday's home game against Watford.
Will Hughes also made it a double, adding the Young Player of the Year award - for a second successive season - to the Sammy Crooks' Award he picked up on Saturday for being the top young player.
Johnny Russell's stunning strike in the 5-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest was voted goal of the season, while Chris Martin's 23 goals so far this term earned him the top goalscorer's gong.
Striker Kwame Thomas was named Under 21s' Player of the Year, while academy youngsters Max Lowe and Alex Cover picked up awards as Scholar of the Year and Academy Player of the Year respectively.
Read more from Buxton in tomorrow's Burton Mail.