MATT Taylor heaped praise on the loyal Swindon Town supporters after being named as the club’s player of the year for the 2017-18 season by readers of the Swindon Advertiser.

Taylor was presented with the famous trophy at the Energy Check County Ground on Thursday, following in the footsteps of club legends such as Don Rogers, John Trollope, Fraser Digby and Shaun Taylor.

The 36-year-old polled a huge 88.6 per cent of votes cast by supporters, well clear of runner-up Marc Richards, with only five players receiving nominations in total.

Taylor, who is in his first season with the club after signing on a free transfer last summer, has made 40 appearances so far ahead of today’s final game of the season at home to Accrington Stanley, scoring seven goals.

Although delighted to pick up the award, the honour was bitter-sweet for Taylor given Town’s failure to achieve their objective of a place in the League Two play-offs before the end of the season.

“I have really enjoyed playing football this season for Swindon Town, although I think collectively, it has been disappointing for the club,” said Taylor.

“I did have to bide my time at the start of the season but I kept myself fit and focussed and when the opportunity arose, I believe I took it.

“Probably in terms of statistics, I have had as good a season as I have had in a long time.

“I have really enjoyed myself and as you get older, you appreciate that football won’t be around forever.

“On a personal note, the season has been a good one, but collectively we have failed to get to where we want to.

“What I do think is vitally important is that we don’t let this season peter out, especially with the final game at home.

“We need to give the loyal fans something to go enjoy – and I must give them a special mention because there were times this season when they could have really turned on us and they haven’t.”

Town’s play-off fate was sealed a fortnight ago in the home defeat at the hands of Grimsby Town, with Taylor conceding their fate means the team have not been good enough this season.

The former Premier League player now wants to give supporters one final cheer this season by beating champions Accrington this afternoon.

“What we try to do at this club is deal in facts. The facts are that unfortunately the only thing on offer to us at home to Accrington is three points,” said Taylor.

“We would have loved a position in the play-offs, but ultimately, that has been a bridge too far for us season.

“Accrington have been the best team in the league this season but there are three points that we want to try to take.”

Town supporter Andrew Savory won the competition run in conjunction with the player of the year vote, and collects the prize of a Swindon Town season ticket for the 2018-19 season.