European Player of the Year title the icing on the cake for Saracens' Alex Goode
PUBLISHED: 06:53 14 May 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
His omission from England squads may continue to baffle but another star performance from Alex Goode in Saracens' Heineken Cup success over Leinster finished with the talented full-back lifting the European Player of the Year title.
And while his international status is a debate for another date, his personal triumph after the final at St James' Park was just extra glitter to the already big prize.
Goode said: "[Winning the player of the year] is the icing on the cake. I'd bite your hand off to get a win with this group again and we have.
"But to get that on top is brilliant."
It is not the first time Goode has lifted silverware during his time with the Men in Black but the 31-year-old believes the 20-10 win is possibly the best of the lot.
He said: "It was one of our most impressive performances. We were up against an incredible side, full of talent, full of internationals and to come through the adversity of losing our two props and the sin-bin, it was just incredible.
"This is a very special team.
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"We knew it was going to be a test match. They are a brilliant side, well-coached and they came at us hard.
"We weren't really at the races and it took the sin-bin for us to dig in and get it right and deliver what we are about.
"We came out and really threw some punches and got that try before half-time and from there we just went up and up.
"It was an incredible performance to be part of."
Goode had spoken after the semi-final win over Munster about his excitement at playing at the home ground of Newcastle United.
And with plenty of backing from the Magpies' famed Gallowgate end, one which housed the majority of the Saracens fans, the experience was every bit as good as he expected.
"It was amazing," he admitted. "The atmosphere was incredible from both sets of fans. It was so noisy and the pitch was brilliant.
"It was very special to play here but it is a special moment for everybody at the club and the organisation.
"We're just chuffed to bits."