Jimmy Ryan admitted he thought it was a wind up when he got the call from the PFA to say he was in their League Two Team of the Year.
The midfielder went down to London to collect a medal at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel on Sunday night and said he never expected it.
"I thought it was one of the lads winding me up when I got the phone call so I had to ring the club to check," said the 22-year-old. "I never expected it at all. I was really shocked.
"The fact that it is voted for by other professionals makes it special. We got a sheet a few weeks ago to put our League Two XI on so for me to get the vote off opposition players, I am delighted with that.
"These are players that you play against week in and week out.¿They don’t know you as a person but they know how you play so they felt I’d been good enough against them to warrant a place.
"I was nervous on the night – Andy Procter and I went down on the train – and I didn’t know if I would have to make a speech or anything but I just had to go up on stage and collect a medal, that was a relief.
"There were a lot of big names there. Jack Wilshere wanted his picture taken with me, but I didn’t have time!"
The fact Ryan was selected is also an acknowledgement as to how well Stanley have done this season as they challenge for promotion.
"I see it as recognition for the team too," continued the midfielder. "We’ve been playing that well that it allows individuals to get noticed. If we were struggling then I wouldn’t be the same player that I’ve been this season. It’s down to how the lads play football, in the right way, and the way the gaffer has got us going. We all know our jobs and what position we should be in at what time and that comes from all the work that the gaffer and Jimmy Bell put in. When somebody doesn’t do their job we do tell each other and have a bit of a go! I think that helps us improve each other.
"I am happy the way the season has gone for me though. I know there have been a few dodgy performances along the way but in the main it’s been good and the hard work has paid off. Hopefully I can keep it going for the rest of the season."
Ryan admits his medal is currently on top of his microwave at home in Liverpool and he is hoping to have another to add to the collection, if Stanley can gain promotion.
"I just put it there when I got in although I do need to find somewhere proper to put it.
"But I’d trade any individual awards for winning the play-offs. That’s what everyone is aiming for. We’ve got to look forward and try to get to that play-off final and get a winners medal.
"It’s the biggest few weeks of the season now, probably the biggest few weeks of most of our careers.
"We’ve just got to take each game as it comes and if we win the first one go into the next. We can’t be looking too far ahead. I guess there is more pressure now but it’s great that we are playing for something.
"It keeps us going and enthusiastic and keeps everything at a high tempo than if the season was just going to fizzle out.
"Bradford tomorrow is huge and then it’s my old club Shrewsbury. I don’t know anyone there now but the fans were always great to me even though I didn’t play a lot of games there.
"I love going there because it’s a new stadium and a big pitch and it’s usually a good atmosphere."
And he hopes to add to his seven-goal tally before the successful campaign ends. "I want to get to 1`0 and hopefully I can by the end of the season. I have missed a few chances but I¿guess you have to be there to miss them."
Ryan is one of those that scouts have been flocking to the Crown Ground to keep tabs on as he is out of contract at the end of the season.
But he isn’t too concerned with the off-the-field wage problems or the long-term plans – he is more worried about the Reds’ immediate future.
"We’re just concentrating on what is going on out on the pitch,"¿he insisted. "We’re not worrying about anything else that’s going on.
"There’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes but we can’t get involved. There’s nothing we can do to affect that. All we can do is do well for the club and win as many games as we can.
"We have a chance to do something special. We have been on a great run since the turn of the year and it has snowballed. Now we want to keep on until the end of the season. It certainly makes it a lot easier, you enjoy playing and everyone is a lot happier."