IRN-BRU SFL End of Season Awards 2011/12

Friday 25th May 2012

THE IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL AWARDS SUMMARY

Ross County Manager Derek Adams cut short his summer holiday in Portugal’s Algarve to attend Wednesday night’s IRN-BRU SFL End of Season Awards Dinner in Glasgow and he was rewarded by picking up three honours.

Adams flew into Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon and in the evening it was announced that he was the unanimous choice of the football media who voted for the First Division Manager of the Season.

County’s 34 game unbeaten run in the First Division saw off the high profile cup journeys of Falkirk and Ayr United to lift the Phenomenal Achievement of the Season and Adams’ Victoria Park squad were also named as the sponsor’s Team of the Season to complete a hat-trick for the Dingwall boss.

Striker Colin McMenamin came out on top in a vote with Partick Thistle’s Paul Cairney and Farid El Alagui of Falkirk to be named as the First Division Player of the Season to complete a fantastic night for County.

It was also a good night for Alloa Athletic who picked up three awards with Paul Hartley capping a fine first season as a boss by adding the Third Division Manager of the Season to the title that his Recreation Park side won last month. Hartley, who is spending the week carrying out working towards a UEFA Coaching Qualification at Largs, was again the unanimous choice of the voting panel.

The Wasps’ on-loan St. Johnstone striker Stevie May defeated 20 goal Queen’s Park striker Jamie Longworth and midfield team-mate Ryan McCord to lift the Third Division Player of the Season in recognition of the part he played in Alloa’s success.

The 19-year-old's sparkling form with the Recreation Park side also came out on top for the SFL Young Player of the Season across all three divisions when he defeated Falkirk’s Craig Sibbald and Airdrie United’s Ryan Donnelly in the voting stakes.

Cowdenbeath Manager Colin Cameron was the top choice amongst the Second Division Managers with Arbroath’s Paul Sheerin coming second and Alan Adamson of newly promoted Dumbarton in third place.

Airdrie United’s ace marksman Ryan Donnelly was voted the top player in the Second Division by seeing off the challenge of Blue Brazil duo Jon Robertson and Lewis Coult.

Keigan Parker’s stunning overhead kick for Ayr United against Dundee in April’s 3-2 win for the Honest Men was voted as the SFL’s Goal of the Season with Dundee striker Stevie Milne’s fine goal against Hamilton Academical in a 6-1 success in second place and Gavin Brown’s cracker for Clyde against East Stirlingshire coming in third.

Young Montrose striker Martin Boyle, who spent the final half of last season training with Aberdeen, also picked up an Award for being the top goalscorer in the three divisions of the IRN-BRU SFL Championship.

Hamilton Academical, Stenhousemuir and Alloa Athletic were also winners as over 422,000 cans were collected under the ‘Drink it, Crush it and Score it’ campaign.

The full list of nominees, winners and their comments on being selected were:-

 

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL THIRD DIVISION - END OF SEASON AWARDS 2011/12

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL THIRD DIVISION PLAYER OF THE SEASON:

The nominees were:

  • Jamie Longworth - Queen's Park

Twenty goals this season from the Spiders’ top goalscorer including four in a 25 minute spell in the one game against Elgin City.

The PE teacher has certainly enjoyed a second season in the senior game after stepping up from Junior side Kilbirnie Ladeside.

  • Steven May – Alloa Athletic

Steven was awarded the IRN-BRU Phenomenal SFL Player of the Month, Young Player of the Month and IRN-BRU Ginger Boot Trophy for January. The first time that one player has won all three player awards in a month.

The 19-year-old on-loan St. Johnstone striker scored four times when Alloa clinched the title in their 8-1 success over Elgin City in April and hit 19 goals during his five month spell at Recreation Park where he earned the nickname of the ‘Alloa Carlos Puyol.’

  • Ryan McCord – Alloa Athletic

Midfielder Ryan starred in the Alloa midfield alongside his brother Ross after both players joined Paul Hartley’s side from Dundee United.

Ryan scored the first goal of Alloa’s successful League campaign with a penalty after only two minutes down at Stranraer and he went on to score ten more times in 30 League appearances.

  • Winner: Steven May – Alloa AthleticSteven May in action for Alloa Athletic

Paul Hartley on Steven May:

"He is with the Scotland Under-20 side just now and can’t be here but he is a great example of what can be achieved through hard work.

"I was of the opinion that we were not scoring enough goals in the first half of the season and he came in and changed that. We were creating chances but we needed someone to take the pressure off Kevin Cawley.

"Stevie came in and did that job fantastically well by scoring all sorts of goals. He is in contract talks with St. Johnstone and I hope that we helped him as much as he helped us. Unfortunately, I do not think we will get him back for the Second Division."

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL THIRD DIVISION MANAGER OF THE SEASON:  PAUL HARTLEY (ALLOA ATHLETIC)

Just over a year ago, Paul Hartley took over an Alloa Athletic side that had just one signed player. Thirty six games later and The Wasps are Third Division Champions by a 14 point gap.

Alloa Athletic Manager, Paul HartleyHartley’s men hit the front with a 3-0 win over Elgin City on Boxing Day and they stayed there with an 8-1 win over the same opponents clinching the title on 7th April.

A 15 game unbeaten run midway through the season as well as clean sweeps over second placed Queen’s Park and Stranraer who finished third were the pillars of Hartley’s success.

Paul Hartley:

"It is great to win this award and it is a nice way to end the season but this is not just for me – it is for everyone involved at the club.  It has been a great season and I could not have really asked for a better one.

"I had hoped it would go as well as it has but there are no guarantees. It is down to the hard work that everyone at Alloa put in.

"This award marks a great end to my first season but the hard work for next season has started already. I am down at Largs this week learning more as you always have to keep on pushing.

"We have the majority of the guys signed up and we will give the Second Division a real go."

 

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL SECOND DIVISION - END OF SEASON AWARDS 2011/12

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL SECOND DIVISION PLAYER OF THE SEASON:

The nominees were:

  • Jon Robertson – Cowdenbeath

Jon’s form with the Second Division Champions has earned him a move to full-time football with St. Mirren.

The 23-year-old found the net six times including a fine goal against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup and the winner in a 3-2 Fife derby against East Fife.

Jon is also one of the fastest players in Scotland as he was a Finalist in the Ramsdens Cup Dash for Cash at Livingston in March.

  • Ryan Donnelly – Airdrie United

There is some debate over the exact number of goals that Ryan has scored this season whether it is 27, 28 or 29. However, what is not up for debate is that he has scored frequently and the 'Local Hero' was a major figure in his side’s push for promotion.

Ryan won the Ginger Boot Award in October and the Young Player of the Month honour the following month.

  • Lewis Coult – Cowdenbeath

There is no more colourful character in the SFL than the six foot four inch striker they call the Flamingo. Lewis scored 14 times for the Blue Brazil as they lifted the Second Division title and he celebrated them all in style.

Lewis captured the Ginger Boot award in February and was not sure if he could wear them as they were not bright enough!

  • Winner: Ryan Donnelly - Airdrie UnitedRyan Donnelly

Ryan Donnelly:

"I am shocked and delighted at winning this Award as I thought I was only coming along for my dinner. I am delighted to be chosen as the Second Division Player of the Season especially as there was a strong list of nominees including Jon Robertson who picked up the PFA Scotland Award and he has just been signed by a SPL club.

"The coaches and the players at Airdrie have helped me so I want to publicly thank them for that. The correct number of goals that I scored is 28 but if you want to award me anymore, I will take them. My favourite was one in a 4-1 win over Brechin where I flicked it over my shoulder and then hit it home.

"I never realised how good a goal it was at the time. When I saw it again, I thought it may be worth a Goal of the Month Award however, it was beaten.

"I have another 18 months of my contract to go at Airdrie so next season is all about getting goals for them.

"It will take a wee while to get over losing the Play-Offs to Dumbarton but we will be ready for next season."

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL SECOND DIVISION MANAGER OF THE SEASON:

  • Colin Cameron – Cowdenbeath

Colin’s first season in a Player/Manager role ended in success as his Central Park side secured the Second Division title by eight points from Arbroath.

A Scottish internationalist, a League Cup winner with Raith Rovers, a Scottish Cup winner with Heart of Midlothian and a Play-Off winner with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cameron was delighted to lead the Blue Brazil to League Championship success.

Cameron always spoke about belief in his players and they responded with a strong end to the season to lift them away from Arbroath.

  • Paul Sheerin – Arbroath

Last season’s Third Division Manager of the Season carried on in fine style with his Red Lichties in first or second position for 34 of the 36 games of the season and even then, their worst position was third.

Sheerin’s side chased Cowdenbeath until the closing stages and they entertained along the way by scoring the highest tally of goals in the Second Division – 71.

  • Alan Adamson – Dumbarton

The Sons were a real outside bet for promotion at the start of the season and were even longer odds when they lost four of their first six Second Division games. Manager Alan Adamson turned all that around with a fabulous 2012 that began with a 10 game unbeaten run that saw him named Phenomenal Manager of the Month for both January and February.

  • Winner: Colin Cameron – Cowdenbeath

Colin Cameron:

Cowdenbeath Player/Manager, Colin cameron“I am delighted to pick up the Phenomenal Manager of the Season Award. Winning the League was a great achievement for the club after being relegated the season before.

“The players were magnificent from Day One and had the bit between their teeth from then. My assistant Lee Makel and I asked them to believe in themselves and they did that. What we achieved is still settling in but we have to move forward and I have actually worked harder in the past two or three weeks than I did last season.”

Cameron is also undertaking UEFA Training this week and said: “I am trying to put foundations in place for next season which we know will be a tough one as we are playing against full-time sides virtually every week. To compete in that environment, we will need to be fitter than we have ever been.

“The ability to do well is there, as it was two years ago, but we never had the belief then that we could stay up. Hopefully, we will have it this time.

“The players have more playing experience under their belt but they are also used to winning most weeks and they will have to handle not winning as many games next season. We will have to keep negativity out of our place if we do not win as often as we did in the Second Division.”

Second Division Player of the Year nominee Jon Robertson is moving onto the SPL with St. Mirren and Cameron reckons he will be hard to replace and said: “Jon was a fine player for us as he gave us lots of energy in the middle of the park. He is not the biggest talker in the world but he was a great captain as he led by example.

“We need to find a replacement and I have a few people in mind and hopefully, they can join us on 25th June when we get going again.”

 

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL FIRST DIVISION - END OF SEASON AWARDS 2011/12

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL FIRST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE SEASON:

The nominees were:

  • Colin McMenamin - Ross County

Colin was an important part of the title winning Dingwall team and he scored 20 times in his first season as a County player.

Just as important as his volume of goals was the timing of them as he scored late equalisers against both Dundee and Falkirk as they looked to mount a serious challenge and the 31-year-old also netted 10 times in the last 11 games to help push Derek Adams’ side over the line.

  • Paul Cairney - Partick Thistle

Paul responded well to the passing style of play demanded by Thistle Manager Jackie McNamara and his assistant Simon Donnelly. A move to a slightly more advanced midfield position saw the former Queen’s Park midfielder score a dozen times.

The 24-year-old won the IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Player of the Month award for April and SPL clubs have picked up on his form and his days at the Jags could be numbered.

  • Farid El Alagui – Falkirk

Twelve months ago, not many people knew the name of Farid El Alagui however, a sparkling first season as a Bairn has seen the Moroccan goal grabber established as a Falkirk favourite.

Twenty seven goals, a Ramsdens Cup winners' medal and two IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Monthly honours is an excellent start to life in Scotland for Farid. 

  • Winner: Colin McMenamin - Ross CountyRoss County's Colin McMenamin celebrates with his family and the IRN-BRU SFL First Division trophy

Derek Adams on Colin McMenamin:

"This is a deserved award and I am delighted for Colin. He was the top scorer at our club and the top scorer in the First Division with 19 goals.

"Colin fitted in with the ethos at the club very quickly after signing from Queen of the South last summer.

"It was not just the volume of goals from him that was important, he also scored important goals with late equalisers against both Falkirk and Dundee that helped us keep a gap on them.

"He came bang into form to get us vital points with a great run at the end of the season where he scored in seven consecutive games.

"Colin will be a big player for us next season and he will enjoy being back in the SPL as he feels he has a point to prove at that level."

 

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL FIRST DIVISION MANAGER OF THE SEASON:  DEREK ADAMS (ROSS COUNTY)

Derek was the unanimous choice from the worthy First Division Champions after a run of 34 games undefeated. County started the season slowly with a goalless draw and then a 5-1 defeat from Hamilton Academical however, things fell into place after that.

A 2-1 win at Dundee on 15th October that ended the first quarter of games saw Derek Adams' side secure top place and their first ever First Division success was secured when Dundee were held 1-1 by Queen of the South on 10th April.

County’s winning margin of 24 points was a record for the First Division beating the record of 23 points set by Hibernian in season in 1998/99.

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON:

The nominees were:

  • Steven May – Alloa Athletic

(See Third Division Player Award)

  • Craig Sibbald – Falkirk

Craig turned 17 just five days ago and he has one of the oldest heads on young shoulders in the SFL. Craig is a cultured midfielder who was the first IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Young Player of the Month Award winner during the 2011/12 season and was a key player in a young Falkirk side that reached the Semi-Finals of The Scottish Communities League Cup as well as finishing third in the First Division.

  • Ryan Donnelly - Airdrie United

(See Second Division Award)

  • Winner: Steven May – Alloa Athletic

 

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE SEASON:

The nominees were:

  • Brian Reid - Ayr United

Ayr United saw off three SPL sides on their way to the Semi-Finals of The Scottish Communities League Cup and the part-time side also reached the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup.

  • Derek Adams - Ross County

A 34 game unbeaten run in a highly competitive First Division is a fantastic achievement. County were simply the best team in the division and were deserved Champions.

The players showed right until the final minute of the season their high standards when they scored in injury time to complete a 5-3 win over a Queen of the South side that was in front three times.

  • Steven Pressley - Falkirk

Made a young squad competitive and brought positive publicity to the SFL with their League challenge and run to the Semi-Finals of The Scottish Communities League Cup at Hampden.

A Ramsdens Cup Final win in April will give Pressley’s youngsters a taste for success.

  • Winner: Derek Adams – Ross County

Derek Adams:

Ross County manager, Derek Adams"It was a great night and I am delighted that I came back from my holidays to be here. I said we have been phenomenal and I meant it.

"Not only did we win the League but we went 34 games undefeated in a really competitive division. The players showed how much that meant in the final games of the season as we kept on going despite having won the title. Our 5-3 win at Queen of the South on the final day of the season when we were behind three times shows you the spirit they had.

"An individual award, a team award and an achievement award is great recognition for Ross County.

"I have to thank the SFL and IRN-BRU for all their support during my time as a Manager. Management all started for me aged 32 and I have always enjoyed it since. My time in the SFL has been a great grounding for me.

"We will build on the work we have done over the past few seasons and things will really start ramping up now that I am back from my holidays. We have kept the nucleus of our squad together over the past few seasons with five players still with us from the Second Division and eight from the Scottish Cup Final two years ago and we will continue to have that core group at the heart of the club.

"I was the Second Division Manager of the Year in 2008 and I am now the First Division Manager of the Year however, completing the hat-trick in the SPL next season will be a tough task."

 

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL TEAM OF THE SEASON:  ROSS COUNTY FC

Incredibly, County were in second bottom place after two games however, 34 undefeated games later they were First Division Champions. Derek Adams’ side also won the League by a record margin of 24 points.

Richard Brittain –  Ross County captain:

Richard Brittain (left) with Derek Adams"This is a great end to a great season for Ross County. I may be the one picking it up but I am doing it for all the boys, the Manager and all the backroom staff.

"It is a great reward for all the efforts this season and whilst individual awards are great, a team award is fantastic. The players are all over the world just now on holiday but I am sure that they will be delighted to hear about our success at the Awards night.

"It has been a massive honour to captain the side this season and that honour is increased when you consider we have been voted the best team in the three divisions of the SFL.

"The spirit the players showed was magnificent and every time someone got close to us, we produced a great performance. Even in the last game of the season against Queen of the South, we were down three times and came back to win 5-3. That result summed us up as we must have deflated the teams chasing us when we came back in games so often.

"I have been in the SPL before with St. Mirren and if the Manager picks me, I will relish every game I play in it for Ross County."

IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL GINGER BOOT AWARD:  MARTIN BOYLE (MONTROSE)

Martin made his debut for Montrose as a 16-year-old against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup three years ago and since then he has shown an eye for goal.

Martin BoyleThe now 19-year-old took his tally for the season to 22 by grabbing a hat-trick in the Gable Endie’s final Third Division match against Clyde that took him to the top of the charts. Full-time training with Aberdeen has benefited Boyle and the Links Park side.

Martin Boyle:

"I am over the moon at winning the Ginger Boot Award. It is a massive prize for me and ends a great season on a high note.

"I have to thank my team-mates as they created lots of chances for me and encouraged me throughout the season. I would not have scored as many goals as I did without their help. I never scored enough goals in a single month to win a monthly prize but this one is going on the mantelpiece and never coming off.

"I am still pretty new to the game and experienced guys like Dougie Cameron and Jamie Winter have been great with me as they talked me through games.

"I hit a hat-trick on the final day of the season to win it and it was a great feeling. It was too good a feeling to explain.

"I have been in training with my home town team Aberdeen and I scored seven goals in my last four games so the training definitely had an impact. I was a lot fitter than I had been and working with them was an unbelievable experience and I can’t thank them enough.

 

IRN-BRU SFL GOAL OF THE SEASON:  KEIGAN PARKER (AYR UNITED)

  • WINNER: Keigan Parker – Ayr United -v- Dundee
  • SECOND: Stevie Milne – Dundee -v- Hamilton Academical
  • THIRD: Gavin Brown – Clyde -v- East Stirlingshire

Keigan Parker:

"When I saw all the Goals of the Month being shown on the big screen during the Dinner, I was not sure if I would win. There were some great goals and I thought Steven Milne’s from Dundee was a great effort.

Keigan Parker - Goal of the Season 2011/12"I reckon what helped me get chosen was that you could see the passion of what the goal meant to the Ayr fans. It put us level with Dundee at 2-2 in a game we had to win to avoid automatic relegation and we eventually did 3-2.

"I had a few ups and downs over my four months up here but I have enjoyed being at Ayr.  I had a bad hamstring injury a year ago so I dropped down to AFC Fylde near Blackpool where I still have a place to do some coaching and to get myself fit.

"I knew I could get back to a decent level if I got myself fit and when December came, I was given the chance to come to Ayr. It was too good an opportunity to turn down.  Winning this Award is a really good way to mark my few months back in Scottish football.

"I have scored 125 goals in my career and not many have been tap ins and I can add this one to my list. The season I left St. Johnstone, I had four goals in the SPL’s Goal of the Season competition.  If I scored tap-ins, I would probably be playing in the Premiership.

"My contract is now up and I will speak to them when the new Manager Mark Roberts comes back from America.

"If nothing happens there, I have always had an inkling to play abroad and I am 29 now and if I do not do that soon, it may well be too late."

 

IRN-BRU SFL FIRST DIVISION - CANS FOR YOUTH TEAMS
Position
Team
Cans Collected
Prize Fund
1
Hamilton Academical
14884
£10,000
2
Ayr United
14116
£5,000
3
Raith Rovers
12846
£2,500
4
Queen of the South
12692
£1,750
5
Greenock Morton
11461
£1,000
6
Livingston
10461
£750
7
Falkirk
8792
£650
8
Partick Thistle
6539
£611
9
Dundee
1615
£561
10
Ross County
385
£511
IRN-BRU SFL SECOND DIVISION - CANS FOR YOUTH TEAMS
Position
Team
Cans Collected
Prize Fund
1
Stenhousemuir
68577
£10,000
2
Stirling Albion
27115
£5,000
3
Cowdenbeath
20308
£2,500
4
Dumbarton
10576
£1,750
5
East Fife
8461
£1,000
6
Arbroath
4923
£750
7
Airdrie United
4346
£650
8
Albion Rovers
2346
£611
9
Brechin City
2077
£561
10
Forfar Athletic
1308
£511
IRN-BRU SFL THIRD DIVISION - CANS FOR YOUTH TEAMS
Position
Team
Cans Collected
Prize Fund
1
Alloa Athletic
76962
£10,000
2
Queen's Park
31616
£5,000
3
Elgin City
24885
£2,500
4
Montrose
19154
£1,750
5
Annan Athletic
14615
£1,000
6
Clyde
9385
£750
7
Stranraer
8039
£650
8
East Stirlingshire
6692
£611
9
Peterhead
2269
£561
10
Berwick Rangers
385
£511

IRN-BRU Cans for Youth TeamsIRN-BRU SFL Cans for Youth TeamsIRN-BRU SFL Cans for Youth Teams

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