Gazette picks out Middlesbrough's 2023/24 alternative end of season award winners

Middlesbrough's season is over and the official awards have been handed out.

Rav van den Berg took a double award win as he won Player and Young Player of the Year and Jonny Howson taking the Players' Player of the Year. Sam Greenwood scored the Goal of the Season against Leicester City and Law McCabe took the Scholar of the Year.

With the season now completed, it seems the perfect time to do their alternative end-of-season awards. As well as Player of the Year, we name our top moments of an interesting season full of ups and downs for Boro. With apologies to our winners, who will have to accept our adulation in the absence of any actual awards.

READ MORE: 'We're lucky to have him' - Michael Carrick on Middlesbrough Player of the Year Rav van den Berg

Player and Young Player of the Season - Rav van den Berg

Hard to argue with the majority vote from supporters here. Having arrived from the Netherlands at just 19 years old, Van den Berg quickly established himself at Boro on account of the club's huge injury crisis.

Starting at right-back and even covering at left-back at times, the young centre back would eventually get his chance in his favoured position and has not looked back since. Displaying a maturity well beyond his years, he's excelled this season and deserved both awards he got. It will be huge if Boro do manage to keep him next season.

Honourable mentions should go to Jonny Howson and Matt Clarke. In a season of so many injuries, it's to Howson's credit that he managed to avoid any extended absences and, at 35, played so many games at such a consistent level. He was more than worthy of the new contract he was rewarded with.

As for Clarke, he returned from injury in December, and not just any injury either - one that had kept him out for 13 months. He may have needed managing in the first couple of months but from February onwards, Clarke played at such a level that, backstory included, he deserved to be in with a shout.

Most Improved Player of the Season - Emmanuel Latte Lath

Another player who made himself a late contender for Player of the Year was Emmanuel Latte Lath. Instead, we honour him the most improved player of the season after a remarkable turnaround in a Boro shirt.

Let's be honest, as Latte Lath struggled early on with his composure and was dropped when Boro headed to Sheffield Wednesday on a night that proved their turning point after a poor start, would anyone have been brave enough to predict the Ivorian would finish his first season in England with 18 goals?

Surely few would have, and even more so when he started to pick up niggling injuries as he struggled to adapt to the Championship. But returning from an injury suffered against Chelsea, Latte Lath would go an incredible end-of-season run - netting 11 goals in 12 games to end on 18. Proving his quality, it's fair to say excitement and expectation is now high for next season.

Goal of the Season - Sam Greenwood, Leicester City

Another where it's hard to argue with the official vote which saw Sam Greenwood win the award for his stunning free-kick against Leicester City. A set-piece specialist, he couldn't have hit it sweeter or directed it better as the ball flew into the back of the net, right in the top corner.

Sadly, the Leeds United didn't ever build on the early promise and this high point in a Boro shirt. Despite a purchase option in Boro's favour, the club have decided against signing the Sunderland-born forward and will be looking elsewhere to strengthen their forward line this summer.

Best Moment of the Season - Chelsea win at the Riverside

In front of a sold-out Riverside, Chelsea visited for the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on what became a very special night on Teesside. With a raucous crowd doing their job to heighten the sense of occasion, Boro would then go on to not just compete with the Premier League big-hitters, but beat them.

Michael Carrick's side may have had to ride their luck a little at times, but that roar when Hayden Hackney got on the end of Isaiah Jones' byline cutback to fire Boro into the lead is a moment that will live long in the memory. Sadly, it was not to be in the end for Boro as they were humbled rather emphatically at Stamford Bridge. Nevertheless, that night at the Riverside shouldn't be dampened any by that.

Best performance of the Season - Leicester away

While that Chelsea win deserves honourable mention in the performance of the season stakes, we've gone with the win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in February because it was both unexpected and well-deserved, whereas Cole Palmer may feel he should have made for a different outcome in that Carabao Cup game.

With the team leaking ahead of the Leicester trip, it's fair to say few would have been heading to the Midlands to take on the, at that time, runaway league leaders with so many absentees. Added to their injury woes, Boro lost regular midfield pairing Jonny Howson and Hayden Hackney to injury late in the previous game at Preston North End and, already in poor form, were not heading to the King Power in high spirits.

Nevertheless, displaying their grit and will and they so often did in the final couple of months of the season, Boro went to the home of the champions-elect - with raw wide prospect Sammy Silvera playing as a striker no less - and managed to win 2-1. A late Jamie Vardy goal led to a nervy ended, but in the 80 minutes prior to that, Boro were excellent and deserved their win, with a fantastic tactical gameplan from Carrick and co. paying off.