CHERRIES goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been named the Daily Echo/Micky Cave AFC Bournemouth player of the year for 2020.

The 22-year-old sealed 47 per cent of readers’ votes after fans had their say in an online poll on the Daily Echo website.

Defender Nathan Ake, a winner of the award in 2018, came second with 37 per cent, while midfielder Jefferson Lerma and full-back Diego Rico (both two per cent) finished in a tie for third.

After seeing off competition from the likes of Artur Boruc, Mark Travers and Asmir Begovic for a starting spot during pre-season, Ramsdale made his Premier League debut against former club Sheffield United back in August.

He went on to enjoy a resounding breakthrough campaign with the Dorset club – having featured in 37 of the 38 league games this campaign.

Despite not being able to prevent Eddie Howe’s men from being relegated, Ramsdale pulled off 129 saves in the division in total.

Only Norwich’s Tim Krul and Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka produced more stops.

In winning the award, the goalkeeper follows in the footsteps in the likes of former winners Marc Pugh, James Hayter, Harry Arter, Steve Cook and Simon Francis – as well as manager Howe.

Ramsdale took the time to address the fans following Cherries’ relegation from the top flight earlier this week.

He told afcbTV: “Me and the fans have got a great connection. From the first game, even until now, I know they are at home and they are supporting us lads.

“It’s devastating but we can’t thank them enough for their support throughout the season.

“We have to continue now, next season. We have to build momentum.

“We can’t slow down and think about this season. We have to hit it head on and the fans are going to be crucial with that with us players leading it and them supporting us from behind like they have done every single year.”

Stoke-born Ramsdale penned a new long-term contract at Vitality Stadium back in October.

The Sun this week reported Sheffield United had been “plotting” to bring back Ramsdale to Bramall Lane – but the Daily Echo understands there has been no bids for any Cherries players at present.

The Micky Cave-Daily Echo trophy is named in honour of the former Cherries midfielder, who died in 1984.