Tuesday 13th April 2010

The IRN-BRU Phenomenal Award winners have been named for the month of March. After much debate, a judging panel consisting of respresentatives from the Scottish media decided upon the winners.

The winners for March are –



Terry Butcher (Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC)

Terry ButcherInverness Caledonian Thistle surged through their games in March to take pole position in the IRN-BRU SFL First Division and extended their unbeaten run to 15 games. That form was more than enough for Manager, Terry Butcher, to pick up his first Manager of the Month award for the season.

The month started in slightly disappointing fashion as a two goal lead at Championship chasing Dundee was given up to the Dens Park side in a thrilling draw before a 3-1 win at home over Queen of the South, which was inspired by an Adam Rooney hat-trick, got the Highlanders motoring again.

Youngster Nick Ross popped up from the youth team to score the only goal of the game against Morton before a point was taken from a tough local derby across the Kessock Bridge at Ross County.

Four different goalscorers found the net as Airdrie United were defeated 4-0 before that man Rooney scored the only goal at Firhill as Butcher’s side gained revenge for an earlier defeat in the season against the Glasgow side.

That win lifted Inverness into top spot and they held on to it in fine style when they defeated their neighbours from Dingwall for the first time in the League this season with a 3-0 home win.

Butcher said, “Whilst it is great to be honoured for a fine run in March, our feet are very firmly stuck to the ground as nothing has been achieved as yet. The First Division is extremely competitive but everyone connected with the club and the city are pleased with how the team are performing.”

“We got off to a slow start in the League but we always knew that we had a talented squad and once things clicked together, we have really started motoring. This is the best spell I have had as a Manager and long may it continue.”

Danny Lennon (Cowdenbeath FC)

Cowdenbeath boss, Danny Lennon, picked up his third IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month Award for the season with the Blue Brazil boss delighted to put the findings from a disappointing March, 2009 to good effect in March, 2010.

Danny LennonLennon’s side picked up 16 points in the month to keep on the tail of leaders Alloa Athletic with Lennon delighted that his side came through a busy hectic period in much better shape than they did a year ago.

Lennon explained, “We played seven times in the month and picked up five wins and a draw and I put that down to doing things differently this season. Last time out we played the same amount of games but only picked up eight points and what happened then taught me a lot.”

“A year ago we kept our training sessions at a really high tempo as I felt that was the way to keep the guys sharp but it turned out it wasn’t. We picked up a couple of training ground injuries as well because training was so competitive and that cost us in the run-in and Dumbarton beat us to the title. This year I have done things differently.”

The Central Park boss explained what he has changed, “The players have been wrapped in cotton wool a lot more. We still work them hard on a Thursday night but the intensity and contact work is not the same. Last season was my first as a Manager and I have learnt from it.”

Cowdenbeath sit nine points behind Alloa Athletic with two games in-hand and the clubs are due to meet on the final day of the season and Lennon would settle for having it all to play for on 1st May.

He said, “We have still six games to play and if you offered me a final day shoot out against Alloa just now I would take it. They seem to be into a habit of winning games without playing too well but if they slip up, we have to be prepared to take advantage. We only came into this League at very short notice and the players have been brilliant to get us where we are and they deserve recognition for their efforts and I will share this with them.”

Despite his success, Lennon who recently picked up his UEFA Pro Licence from the President of the SFA, George Peat, reckons that he has still plenty of days still to be spent in the classroom.

He said, “After picking up the UEFA football qualification, I am now looking to develop myself more as a people manager as there is a huge difference in being a manager as opposed to a coach. I have spoken to Alex Smith at the League Managers Association and we are looking to see if there is a suitable course already established or whether there is one that can be run especially for managers in football.”

The Central Park Manager added, “As far as I am concerned, you are never done learning on or off the pitch.”

Steven Tweed (Montrose FC)

Montrose started March at the bottom of the SFL with only nine points and they ended it one place away from the wooden spoon position having picked up fourteen points from the seven games played in a busy month. Their impressive haul was enough for Player/ Manager, Steven Tweed, to be named as the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month.

Steven TweedWins were secured over Stranraer and Elgin City as well as the promotion chasing duo of East Stirlingshire and Forfar Athletic with points shared with Albion Rovers and Berwick Rangers.

Tweed, who has been in the Manager’ s position for just over a year, picked up the award for the first time and he was delighted saying “Our hard work on the training pitch eventually paid off. We started making fewer mistakes, played decent football and the culmination of all that was wins and more points. When you consider we played the three sides that were in Play-Off positions, it shows you how good a month it was.”

The big centre half added, “I picked up a few awards as a player and it is always good to pick them up towards the end of a season as you are invariably doing something right at a crucial time of a season.”

Despite their difficult start to the season when the Gable Endies went 19 games without a win, Tweed has built a strong positive spirit at the club.

He said, “We played Livingston last Tuesday night and Stephen McNally did not think he could make the game as he was working in Inverness all week. He decided that he didn’t want to let us down and he hired a car, drove down and played before driving back. That is what we have built over the past year as we have plenty of players that want to play for me, for the club and for their team-mates.”

Adam Rooney (Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC)

Adam RooneyStriker Adam Rooney’s fine form in March helped make it an Inverness Caledonian Thistle double as he picked up the IRN-BRU Player of the Month to go alongside Manager Terry Butcher’s Manager of the Month Award.

The 22-year-old who has been with the club since August, 2008, completed his treble strike against Queen of the South with a penalty on 9th March, before opening the scoring when Airdrie United ventured north a fortnight later only to return to Lanarkshire on the back of a 4-0 defeat.

Rooney also headed the goal that set the Highland Jags to the top of the table when the Glasgow Jags, Partick Thistle, were defeated 1-0 at Maryhill.

It was also Rooney’s first award of the season with the striker saying, “I am fortunate to play in a side that creates plenty of chances. We have guys like Jonny Hayes and Richie Foran who can create opportunities and score goals as well so we have been flying recently.”

Dublin born Rooney, who started his career at Stoke City and played at Yeovil, Chesterfield and Bury on loan whilst with the English Premiership club added, “We have shown great character to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season but we need to keep things going as nothing has been won yet.”

Michael Tidser (Morton FC)

Morton’s recent signing, midfielder Michael Tidser, was awarded Young Player of the Month just three months into his career at the Greenock club.

The 20-year-old was part of the youth set-up at Celtic for nine years where he was captain of the Under-19 side with Tidser saying, “I had been involved at Celtic since I was a ten-year-old however, I was let go in the summer of 2009.”

After being released, Tidser moved to Sweden where he played for a well known face in the Scottish game, former Heart of Midlothian, Livingston, Dunfermline Athletic and East Fife midfielder Lee Makel, who is the Manager at Ostersunds.

Michael TidserThe move to the third tier of Swedish football was to be of benefit with Tidser saying, “I played there for 16 games and we won 13 of them and drew two. It was a different style of football as you get a lot more time on the ball and I learned a lot, played well and really enjoyed it.”

“Lee was great to play for and I still speak to him now. It helped that he also played midfield as he would give me lots of tips on how to improve. Lee is just starting out as a coach but I have to say he was excellent with me.”

When Osterunds’ season came to an end, Cappielow Manager, James Grady, made his move to persuade the player to sign an 18 month deal at the Tail o’ the Bank. Tidser said, “I had known James from playing against him in bounce games and I was delighted to sign. I played the first game, then dropped out for one match and then got back in and have played every one since.”

Tidser’s dead ball delivery has made First Division sides sit up and take notice and his corners have to be defended with aplomb with the midfielder saying, “My Manager likes good deliveries from set pieces and we now have me on one side and Stevie Masterton on the other so hopefully, we can get goals from that. I always took the set pieces in the teams I was at with Celtic and it has just carried on now that I am playing senior.”

Tidser finished by saying, “I am delighted with this award as it shows I must be doing something right. The main objective for everyone at Morton is to stay in the First Division but it is nice to be recognised as an individual as well. The gaffer announced my win in front of all my team-mates and they gave me a round of applause which was great when you consider I have only been here for a few months.”

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