With the season fast approaching its conclusion and all four divisional titles more or less nailed to their respective victors, Scotzine has called on its readers and followers to vote in the Scottish Football End of Year awards, covering the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League.
So with our readers and followers having their say with the nominations and in the voting process, the next Scotzine contributor to give us his selections is Aiden Wylie our resident Ross County fan blogger.
SPL Manager of the Year
I’m going straight for the jugular here. My SPL Manager of the Year is Terry Butcher (ICT). His achievement this season has been to turn a team full of loanees, ﬁrst season-signings and David Raven into one of the better sides in the SPL.
It’s a remarkable result for the ultimate “if” team. He also seems like a thoroughly decent bloke and it is good to see him doing well personally. Turning down Barnsley to remain in the Highlands was a boost for the area, and celebrating a victory over St Mirren by congratulating Ross County spoke volumes. It’d be amiss of me not to make mention of Derek Adams, who when not successfully winding up those with the incapacity for abstract though has quietly overseen the birth of a top ﬂight football team. And he too chose to remain in the Highlands, rejecting Aberdeen.
SPL Player of the Year
This is entirely my bias leaning here, and will no doubt be laughed at by others, but for me Evangelos Oikonomou (Ross County) is the best left back in the division. He came in and replaced the likeable and hard-working Marc Fitzpatrick and added a new dynamic to the County defence. A calm ﬁgure with no little skill (and very little English), his (Greek) obscenity-ﬁlled rant after the harsh penalty award at Inverness was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. I also enjoy the fact that his translator is Swiss. Seriously though, a class, class act and one I’d imagine will be top of County’s to-keep list.
SPL Young Player of the Year
Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) – A one time County player, the gifted winger with the chocolate ankle was once transferred to Liverpool. On his day the most exciting player in the SPL. He seems to be enjoying a run of games at the right time, and his Scotland call up was no more than he deserved.
SPL Flop of the Year
Neil Lennon – With a playing budget twenty times the size of any other team, and a team full of internationalists – not to mention their rivals all the way down in Division Three, Celtic should have been expected to waltz the league. Instead, they’ve lost to Inverness, Ross County, St Johnstone and others in the league and knocked out of the cup by St Mirren – the latest in a shameful history in knock-out football. The magniﬁcent win over Barcelona should not hide the fact that Celtic have chronically under performed this year. Seems like a good guy though.
SFL Manager of the Year
Arguably the toughest of the decisions. In the end, after more deliberation (read watching SFL highlights and drinking beer) I have voted for Allan Johnston (Queen of the South). As a player, he was a niggly wee bugger. As a manager, he’s guided his team to a runaway division title whilst rebuilding the absolute mess that was the Gus McPherson’s defence.
SFL Young Player of the Year
I’m a massive fan of Danny Carmichael (Queen of the South) In a season in which Dundee United have recently signed two of Partick Thistles champions-elect squad, it would be surprising if Carmichael is in the ﬁrst division next season.
SFL Flop of the Year
I can’t vote for Charles Green, he’s been more entertaining than anyone could have predicted. Racism, scouting scandals, barefaced lies and even being in cahoots with Craig Whyte, he has all the makings of a Scottish football legend. I will vote however for Ian Black (Rangers) who chased the Queen’s shilling in the battleﬁelds of the Third Division and got found out for the fourth-rate thug he is.
Most Memorable Moment of the Year
Few things will be better, ever, than Steffan “Der Wolf” Wohlfarth (Ross County) scoring an injury time winner at home to Celtic. The big German quite literally ran through Fraser Forster to send a full Global Energy Stadium into delirium. Glorious, glorious moment.