5th March – Matty Fryatt

Nottingham Forest are definitely outsiders to reach the playoffs this season and with Britt Assombalonga out injured they will be relying on Matty Fryatt to score the goals.

Fryatt is now 29 and has been a consistent goalscorer for a number of years and he has proven that when he’s given the chance he can find the back of the net. When he has started games in his career he has always been one of the most awake on the pitch and he has proven this by scoring Leicester City and Walsall’s quickest ever goals both after just nine seconds, surprisingly though in both games his side would go on to lose the games 2-1.

The striker started his career at Walsall and made his debut in the League Cup against Bolton Wanderers on the 24th September 2003. But he had to go out on loan to Carlisle United to get more experience in December and he played well during his 10 game spell. The following season he was a regular for Walsall and was awarded their Player of the Year after hitting 15 goals in 36 games. This led to speculation about his future but he stayed with Walsall until January when he signed for Leicester City after another good start to the season.

Fryatt Walsall

He made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday in a 2-1 defeat and a week later he scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 defeat against Cardiff City. Despite manager Craig Levein being sacked, Fryatt believed he made the right move and scored six goals to help the club avoid relegation from the Championship. The following two seasons were a struggle as he suffered from injury problems and only managed six goals and with the club getting relegated his future was in doubt.

However, he made a positive start to the 2008-09 season, scoring five goals in the first four games and was named the League One Player of the Month. The goals kept coming and he became the first player for 42 years to score 20 goals before Christmas for the club. During this fantastic run he also became the first player in 83 years to score consecutive hatricks. He ended the season with 32 goals and was named the League One Player of the Year after helping Leicester gain promotion.

Fryatt LC

Once again he started the next season in fantastic form, finding the back of the net three times in the opening five matches. A broken jaw towards the end of the season stopped him having as much of an impact as he would have hoped but with 13 goals he was still the top goalscorer. He only spent a further six months at Leicester as he joined Hull City on the 1st January 2011 and got off to a great start, scoring on his debut against Portsmouth and then another against Barnsley. On the 5th February he would score a hatrick against Scunthorpe United and on his 25th birthday he scored his 100th career goal in a win over Nottingham Forest. He ended the season with nine goals at Hull.

Fryatt HC

The 2011-12 season was the last time he was first choice at Hull as he played every league game and scored 16 times but in his first appearance in the 2012-13 season he picked up a serious achilles injury. So on the 27th September 2013 he joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan and made a good impact. He scored against Brighton, Barnsley and twice against Reading before returning to Hull and scored his first Premier League goal in a 6-0 win over Fulham and would later play an important role in getting the club to the FA Cup final by scoring in the semi final against Sheffield United. On the 9th June 2014 Fryatt signed for Nottingham Forest and so far has six goals for the club.

The final word can go to Nigel Pearson. “Matty’s goalscoring record is pretty good. He is a predator and he also has the ability to score goals out of nothing. He works phenomenally hard for the team and he makes himself chances because of his work rate as much as anything.”

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9th June – Marcin Wasilewski

Marcin Wasilewski helped Leicester City gain promotion to the Premier League this season and it has been a remarkable journey for a player that suffered one of the worst injuries seen on a football pitch.

While playing for Anderlecht he was involved in a horrible incident that resulted in an open leg fracture on the 30th August 2009. Axel Witsel was sent off for the tackle and his ban was extended to eight games because of how bad the injury was. Wasilewski had to undergo corrective surgery for the open fractures to both his tibia and fibula and after a long rehabilitation he returned almost a year later.

The Polish international started his career in his home country with Hutnik Krakow before moving onto Slask Wroclaw where he stayed for two years, playing 51 league games and scoring five goals. He then moved onto Wisla Plock and stayed with them for another three seasons. In 2005 he joined Amica Wronki and had a decent goalscoring record for a defender as he got four goals in 24 games, his club then merged with Lech Poznan in 2006 and the goals kept coming as he scored five times in 14 games.
Wasilewski Polan
In January 2007 he got his big move to Belgian giants Anderlecht and once again not only was he a solid defender, he was also a threat in the opposition box and ended the 2008-09 season as their joint third top goalscorer with eight goals. Then right at the start of 2009-10 season he suffered that awful injury but he did return in May 2010 and even scored the opening goal of the game in a 2-1 victory over Zulte Waregem. His determination to return meant that he was awarded with a new contract by the club and their manager Herman Van Holsbeeck said. “The contract extension is a symbol of the great humanity that exists in this club and is the result of this almost inhuman battle this player has had to fight.”
Wasilewski Anderlecht
On the 24th October 2012, Wasilewski would meet Witsel once again and before the game he made it known that he would not shake hands with the opposition player. However at the last minute he changed his mind and accepted Witsel’s handshake as he didn’t want to turn the atmosphere of the match into a personal duel between the two.

The defender left Anderlecht in 2013 and went on trial with Championship side Leicester City on the 14th September. It only took the club three days to decide to give him a contract and he made his debut not long after in a League Cup third round match with Derby County that his team went on to win 2-1. In November a coach full of Anderlecht fans came to watch a Leicester game to support the defender at his new club and he has not disappointed anyone with his performances and he quickly established himself as a first team regular and on the 22nd May he was given a contract extension which means he will be part of their Premier League club next season.
Wasilewski Leicester
The final word can go to Leicester manager Nigel Pearson. “I love him, he’s great. Centre backs who enjoy defending are a dying breed. He is an exceptionally honest professional who knows the game. He is a good player as well. I am not saying he is just an honest player and tough, he is a very knowledgeable defender.”