The IRN-BRU Phenomenal Award winners have been named for the month of August. After much debate, a judging panel consisting of respresentatives from the Scottish media decided upon the winners.
The winners for August are:
- FIRST DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: GORDON CHISHOLM (QUEEN OF THE SOUTH)
- SECOND DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: ALLAN MAITLAND (ALLOA ATHLETIC)
- THIRD DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: DICK CAMPBELL (FORFAR ATHLETIC)
- PLAYER OF THE MONTH: GARY HARKINS (DUNDEE)
- YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH: IAN VIGURS (ROSS COUNTY)
IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month for the First Division - Gordon Chisholm
Queen of the South's unbeaten seven game run in August was recognised when manager Gordon Chisholm was awarded the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month for the First Division. The Palmerston side progressed to tomorrow's ALBA Challenge Cup quarter final tie at Ross County and this month's The Co-operative Insurance Cup Third Round tie with Rangers as well as collecting eight points from four league games.
Chisholm's great month started with a 4-1 demolition of Queen's Park at Hampden on The Co-operative Insurance Cup duty before they fought to the end to grab a late point against Raith Rovers in league action. An away draw at Airdrie picked up another point before Steve Tosh's injury time winner saw off Dunfermline in the ALBA Challenge Cup.
Partick Thistle were beaten at Palmerston and then Firhill, in the league and then The Co-operative Insurance Cup, before Ayr United were seen off to leave the 49 year Chisholm saying, "It has been a brilliant start to the season and the credit has to go to the players. Whilst it is great to receive a personal honour it reflects on everyone at the club."
Chisholm won the last honour of last season, however this achievement has been won with a changed group of players with Derek Lilley, Willie McLaren, Mark McAusland, Derek Holmes and Rocco Quinn all coming on-board during the summer.
The Doonhamers boss said, "The players that have arrived have settled incredibly well and that is down to those guys and the existing players. They have all gelled together and created togetherness and the spirit has seen them score late goals throughout the month."
Chisholm added, "We have a good squad and the changes we made over the summer has given us a greater balance of youth and experience. We have a lot of pace in our squad with the likes of David Weatherston, who is maturing all the time and a number of excellent experienced good professionals. One thing I have noticed this season already is that no-one is enjoying being left out. Everyone is desperate to play and if I have a couple of unhappy players every Saturday it shows we are doing something right on the pitch."
IRN-BRU Phenomenal Second Division Manager of the Month - Allan Maitland
Alloa boss Allan Maitland has seen his best start to the season ever as a manager rewarded with the season's first IRN-BRU Phenomenal Second Division Manager of the Month award being added to his mantelpiece. Maitland's Recreation Park side earned ten points from their four league games to sit at the top of the Second Division on goal difference from near neighbours Stirling Albion.
Maitland said, "Even when I was the manager at Clyde and we won the Second Division we did not start the season as well as this. It has been great and bearing in mind three of those games have been away from home it really has been a great start."
The Wasps have defeated Peterhead at home, Dumbarton and Clyde on their travels as well as coming from a goal down to draw at Cowdenbeath. The away form is the most pleasing aspect according to the Alloa manager, "Last season it was the end of February before we won two games away from Recreation Park so to have done that already stands us in good stead."
Alloa saw star striker Greig Spence move to Celtic recently and that is further progress they are heading in the right direction with Maitland saying, "I am really enjoying my time at Alloa, it is a fantastic club. We are in the third year of a five year project and everyone is working hard to take us where we want to be. We have a great youth set up that produced Grieg and his transfer earned money for the club and we have a good squad of first team players that have went about their business really well this season."
After a disappointing campaign by Maitland's high standards last time out, Alloa look set to challenge in the top half of the table this season with Maitland said, "We brought a few new players to the club over the summer and managers are often judged on how well they do. So far, so good and winning this award indicates that the new players must have settled well. The players that were here before have helped them gel and despite losing Greig we look set to have a decent season."
IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month for the Third Division - Dick Campbell
Table topping Forfar boss Dick Campbell was awarded the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month for the Third Division after an impressive run of three wins in their opening four league games has left them a point ahead of Berwick Rangers.
The Loons started the month with a win at higher league Clyde on The Co-operative Insurance Cup duty before drawing at Hampden with Queen's Park to open their league campaign. Stranraer were defeated at Station Park and then three points were gained at Montrose before Campbell's troops ended the month with a handsome 5-1 win over East Stirling that included a hat-trick from Campbell's son Ross.
The experienced Campbell was delighted to accept the award saying, "I am really chuffed for everyone connected with the club as it is always nice for your work to be recognised."
The secret of the success in the league so far this season is down to desire with Campbell saying, "My brother Ian, who is my assistant manager and coach John Young have a huge appetite to do well for this club. We drive each other forward, although our methods are probably unconventional as we argue all the time but it is all about making Forfar better."
Campbell added, "The players have started the season with that same hunger and long may that continue."
On the pitch Campbell's philosophy this season has been wonderfully simple with the Station Park boss explaining, "We aim to score at one end and keep goals at the other and we are the top scorers in the SFL with ten goals and have only lost four so the players are living out that philosophy."
Promotion is definitely the aim for Campbell with the 55 year old saying, "Last season we lost two of the first three games despite dominating them and that left us playing catch up. This season we are four points better off already and looking strong so long may that continue."
The only downside for Campbell in August was defeats by Partick Thistle and Dundee that knocked his side out of both the ALBA and The Co-operative Insurance Cup although in typical Campbell style they were quickly brushed aside saying, "They are full time clubs and deservedly beat us but as long the players learned from it that will do me for now."
IRN-BRU Phenomenal Player of the Month - Gary Harkins
Midfielder Gary Harkins may have swapped clubs in the summer, however he remains an outstanding player and his early season form in the dark blue of Dundee saw him pick up the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Player of the Month for August.
The Greenock born 24 year old has scored five times in his opening spell as a Dens Park player and despite Jocky Scott's recast side not firing on all cylinders yet Harkins has already established himself as a fans favourite. The former Partick Thistle player said, "I have changed position slightly since coming here by moving to the left of midfield from the centre and I am enjoying it. I like to score goals and set them up for my colleagues and I have achieved both of those aims so far."
Dundee have drawn more games than they have won so far this season, with their last three league games seeing them pegged back after being ahead, however there is no need to panic with Harkins saying, "Ten new players including myself arrived over the summer so it will take a bit of time to gel. Our team spirit is good and we have a lot of quality in our squad and we have to remember that we are unbeaten and the league runs for 36 games not four."
Harkins reckons good times are ahead saying, "Everything will turn out well once we start converting draws into wins."
IRN-BRU Phenomenal Young Player of the Month - Ian Vigurs
Ross County's summer capture from neighbours Inverness Caledonian Thistle, 21 year old Ian Vigurs has not taken long to capture the eye. His fine form in County's seven games in the month of August has been rewarded with the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Young Player of the Month honour.
Vigurs started his career as a 15 year old at Elgin City before spending three seasons at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and making the move across the Kessock Bridge in the summer. Vigurs topped August off with a cheeky back heeled goal against his previous employers in last weekend's Highland Derby that the Dingwall men won 3-1.
The midfielder said, "It has been great to be starting every game for County and I am delighted to be recognised with this award. My form has improved by playing every week and it has been great that the manager has included me from the start as it gives you a great confidence boost."
There is more to come from the attacking midfielder who added, "I have been playing well but know that I can contribute more. The team has been playing well too and I am really enjoying my time with Ross County."