JEFFERSON Lerma thanked Cherries fans and his teammates after he was named Daily Echo/Micky Cave AFC Bournemouth player of the year award for the 2022-23 season.

The Colombian secured 26.4 per cent of the vote after almost 1,500 Cherries supporters cast their ballots.

He was presented with the trophy by Micky Cave’s family, Sue Chalker and Kieran Chalker on Friday following training.

Translated from his native Spanish, Lerma told the Daily Echo: “Thank you to all the fans that have voted for me.

“But this is a trophy for all of us that are a part of the dressing room.

“I think that it was a very difficult season, when we had to find courage in order to stay in the Premier League.

“We have achieved that, and that belongs to everyone, despite who is chosen as player of the year. 

“That is all the Bournemouth players.”

Missing just one Premier League game this season, Lerma is one match shy of a century of top-flight appearances for Cherries, and is expected to play a part

In his 36 appearances in the league this season, he has scored five times, his best return since moving to Dorset in 2018.

Over the last five years, Lerma has made 183 appearances in red and black, scoring 12 times.

“My best season, scoring five goals,” he continued.

“The timing was perfect. 

“I had help from my teammates, they fought for me, for each and every one of us so that we could keep this ship moving forward.

“It’s thanks to them.”

Since arriving from Spanish outfit Levante, Lerma has became a fan favourite due to his combative and passionate performances in the engine room of the Cherries team.

The club’s record signing for £25million, there has been much speculation over the 28-year-old’s future at Vitality Stadium.

His contract expires at the end of this season, with no decision yet reached.