MK Dons forward Lewis Johnson has been named the LFE Apprentice of the Year for League One.
Johnson has enjoyed a breakout season at Stadium MK, featuring nine times for the first team, including two starts, as well as signing his first professional contract.
The 17-year-old, who joined the Club from Aston Villa in August 2019, made his senior debut in the Papa John’s Trophy tie with Southampton B and was then handed his league bow a month later, appearing as a substitute in the 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers.
Off the pitch, Johnson has shown extraordinary determination and focus, demonstrating that an outstanding education can run alongside a promising football career by securing excellent GCSE grades.
“It’s a great feeling to win this award,” Johnson told mkdons.com. “I’ve worked hard this season but this award is also testament to how hard everyone around me has worked, to help put me in this position.
“I must thank my family, first and foremost, along with my agent, Harry Hickford. I’d also like to thank Jon Goodman for guiding me along the right path as well as Jackie Bushell (MK Dons Academy Head of Education) for making sure I stayed on top of my schoolwork and performed to the best of my ability.
“I would like to thank my teammates, too, for supporting me and putting me in the best position to succeed, and, of course, Russell Martin for giving me an opportunity to succeed, learn and grow in the first-team environment.
“I will continue to work hard to try and build on this season, as I try and cement my place in the first-team squad.”
Academy Manager Jon Goodman added: “Lewis represents all the qualities and values we look for in a scholar. On and off the pitch, his behaviours are excellent and this award is testament to that.
“We’re so delighted with his progress since he joined us from Aston Villa and I know he as a real desire to continue developing – I’m sure, under Russell Martin, he will have the opportunity to do that. We are all really excited about his future.”
Manager Russell Martin said: “We are all really proud of Lewis. He has applied and conducted himself well both on and off the pitch.
“This award doesn’t just include his achievements on the pitch – where has made huge progress and made a number of appearances, including against Premier League opposition in the FA Cup – but also is educational work.
“It’s something he should be very proud of and we’re delighted that he has been recognised.”
Johnson will be recognised during the 2021 EFL Awards, which take place this Thursday from 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports Football.
The 2021 EFL Awards will celebrate and recognise the continued efforts and achievements of Clubs, players and individuals during what has been an incredibly challenging season for everyone.
The shortlists have been revealed ahead of the eagerly-anticipated event, including Player of the Season for each division, The EA Sports Young Player of the Season. the Championship, League One and League Two Teams of the Season will also be announced live on the night.
Other awards to be announced on the night include the Your Move Community Club of the Year and PFA Player in the Community.
The Sir Tom Finney Award and Contribution to League Football Award, alongside the Screwfix Moment of the Season, will be announced on the night, as will the 2021 Mitre Goal of the Season.
2021 EFL AWARDS SHORTLISTS:
Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season
Emi Buendia – Norwich City
Teemu Pukki – Norwich City
Ivan Toney – Brentford
Sky Bet League One Player of the Season
Jonson Clarke-Harris – Peterborough United
George Honeyman – Hull City
Charlie Wyke – Sunderland AFC
Sky Bet League Two Player of the Season
Paul Mullin – Cambridge United
Wes Hoolahan – Cambridge United
Jamille Matt – Forest Green Rovers
EA Sports Young Player of the Season
Harvey Elliot – Blackburn Rovers
Michael Olise – Reading
Max Aarons – Norwich City
LFE Apprentice of the Year – Championship
Will Trueman – Sheffield Wednesday
LFE Apprentice of the Year – League One
Lewis Johnson – MK Dons
LFE Apprentice of the Year – League Two
Felix Miles – Cheltenham Town
Your Move Community Club of the Year
PFA Players in the Community
Will Vaulks – Cardiff City
Alex Rodman – Bristol Rovers
Matty Dolan – Newport County
Sir Tom Finney, Contribution to League Football and Screwfix Moment of the Year Awards
To be announced on the night
2021 Mitre Goal of the Season
Alex Mowatt (Millwall v BARNSLEY, 24 October 2020)
Frazier Campbell (HUDDERSFIELD TOWN V Nottingham Forest, 25 September 2020)
Grant Leadbitter (Doncaster Rovers v SUNDERLAND AFC, 21 November 2020)
Jamal Lowe (Cardiff City v SWANSEA CITY, 12 December 2020)
Lee Novak (Grimsby Town v BRADFORD CITY, 22 December 2020)