- IRN-BRU Phenomenal First Division Manager of the Month – John McGlynn (Raith Rovers)
- IRN-BRU Phenomenal Second Division Manager of the Month – Jimmy Boyle (Airdrie United)
- IRN-BRU Phenomenal Third Division Manager of the Month – Jim McInally (Peterhead)
- IRN-BRU Phenomenal Player of the Month – Paul Cairney (Partick Thistle)
- IRN-BRU Phenomenal Young Player of the Month – Nicky Devlin (Stenhousemuir)
- IRN-BRU Ginger Boot Winner – Rory Boulding (Livingston)
IRN-BRU PHENOMENAL FIRST DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH – JOHN McGLYNN (RAITH ROVERS FC)
A very good period for Raith Rovers Manager John McGlynn’s continued as he picked up the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month for April just days after his side secured their First Division status by beating Queen of the South and he signed a new deal at Stark’s Park.
McGlynn said, “It has been a very enjoyable period and we went to face Morton in our final league knowing that a win would secure a total of 14 points this quarter. That is comparable to last season when we were challenging at the other end of the table and it was good that we did it.”
The Kirkcaldy manager was pleased to have tied up his future as well as he explained, “When we played Falkirk the Board had told me that no matter what happened they wanted me to stay on as the manager. I have been there for 5 and a half years and, whilst we are in the bottom half of the table this season, they knew I was still adopting the same hardworking approach I was when I went there.”
“Whilst it was good to hear that they still had faith in me it was still nice to go out and win that game and then secure our safety last weekend. You could actually say the good times began when we beat Falkirk.”
After battling for 36 games McGlynn was more relaxed after last Saturday’s 3-1 win at Cappielow as he said, “We went above Morton with the win so there was something to play for in the game. But I am sure like me a lot of managers are cream-crackered by this time and thankfully we could play that game a bit differently due to the lack of pressure.”
“Losing games drains your confidence whereas winning games gives you the chance to play in a more expansive way and that is what we did at Cappielow.”
IRN-BRU PHENOMENAL SECOND DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH – JIMMY BOYLE (AIRDRIE UNITED FC)
It was two on the trot for Airdrie United manager Jimmy Boyle who was awarded the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Second Division Manager of the Month for April to add to the honour he picked up in March.
Boyle’s side defeated promotion rivals Stenhousemuir and East Fife 3-0 and 2-0 respectively, saw off Brechin City 4-1 and suffered their only one blemish in their closing 11 games when they lost 2-1 at Dumbarton.
Boyle said, “I am very pleased for myself but even more pleased for the players who have worked really hard over the past couple of months to get us into a play-off place. Our form in the last 10 to 12 weeks was great and that is the reason I am getting this Award on top of the March one.”
The Diamonds manager praised the resilience of his men saying, “No-one could see us getting back into things but the players kept on working and working to get matters back into our hands again. We started keeping clean sheets and scored a lot of goals through good attacking play and taking the game to teams.”
That attacking approach paid dividends with Boyle adding, “There was an enjoyment about our play which was fantastic to see. All the players wanted the ball and wanted to score.”
“Whilst we had a blip at Dumbarton it was a game I feel we should have taken something from. We had a goal chalked off that I thought was onside but these things can happen.”
A play-off place against Ayr United was secured in difficult circumstances at Central Park with Boyle saying, “We were two goals ahead of Stenhousemuir going into the last game and had the Champions, Cowdenbeath, to go to. We had risen to challenges to get to the brink of the play-offs and rose to that one as well in getting the draw that got us over the line.”
IRN-BRU PHENOMENAL THIRD DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH – JIM McINALLY (PETERHEAD FC)
The season appears to be ending too soon for Peterhead boss Jim McInally, who was awarded the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Manager of the Month for April after 3 wins and a draw. McInally’s side finished the season just one place away from a play-off spot such has been the turnaround under his guidance since he joined last November.
The pragmatic McInally was not getting carried away saying, “When we won down at Annan last Saturday someone said to me that we would be have been challenging Alloa for the title if it had not been for the start to the season we had made. I had to remind them that if it was not for the start to the season we had made I would not be here.”
“To be fair to the boys they have been great since I came in and we have turned things around well. The season came to a close too soon but it has whet my appetite for our next campaign when you think about the progress they have made.”
McInally was keen to praise his squad despite them not delivering on their tag of pre-season favourites Sheran as he said, “The players are now getting more confidence about them. They made a bad start to the season and that followed on from a bad season the year before and heads were down.”
The Blue Toon fell bottom of the table at one stage with McInally adding, “The players were slaughtered by some people for how things had gone and I am not sure if that was right or wrong but I do know that they have given me a lot. They now have a bit of a swagger about them which is good to see.”
“Most of them have been given the chance to be here next season and there are 5 of the squad who are on contracts till then anyway. Hopefully the players out of contract will have seen enough during my time to want to come back.”
IRN-BRU PHENOMENAL PLAYER OF THE MONTH – PAUL CAIRNEY (PARTICK THISTLE FC)
Partick Thistle’s darting midfielder Paul Cairney’s first ever senior hat-trick against Dundee last month as well as his fine form overall helped clinch the Firhill man the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Player of the Month.
Cairney said, “I am delighted with this award especially as it was unexpected and I am treating it like an end of season bonus. It was great to get my hat-trick especially as I missed a penalty in the game as well.”
The third goal in Cairney’s treble came via a last minute spot-kick with the former Queen’s Park men having to beat away several of his team-mates that were keen to try their luck from 12 yards.
Cairney said, “A few of the boys wanted to hit it but I was determined to take it and take my first ever match ball home with me. This has been my best season as a player and I am glad that I have this to show for it.”
The 24 year old reckons that one of the reasons for his improved showing this season has been the promptings of manager Jackie McNamara and his assistant Simon ‘Sid’ Donnelly. Cairney said, “The gaffer and Sid like us to get the ball down and pass it which suits me and they have also pushed me further up the field which I enjoy.”
“This is my third season at Firhill and certainly my best.”
With no game this weekend Cairney was asked how he would be filling his time and rather fittingly with the play-offs taking place he said, “I am meeting up with some of my team-mates including Paul Paton and Mark Ferry that helped get Queen’s Park promoted via the play-offs in 2007 to take in their game at Hampden against Stranraer.”
“We have all kept in contact since then and of course Paul is with me at Thistle and we will be hoping that Queen’s can do it again this year.”
IRN-BRU PHENOMENAL YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH – NICKY DEVLIN (STENHOUSEMUIR FC)
Full back Nicky Devlin was delighted that his playing comeback after 6 months out was recognised when the on-loan Motherwell youngster’s fine form at Stenhousemuir was rewarded with the presentation of the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Young Player of the Month.
The 18-year-old earned his move to the SPL last season after impressive displays for Dumbarton, however things stalled at Fir Park when he picked up a knee injury that saw him sitting in the side-lines.
Devlin said, “I was delighted when the manager at Stenhousemuir, David Irons, called to tell me that I had won this Award. After a period of not playing it is great to be back playing and even better to playing well enough to win the Young Player of the Month Award.”
“I played a season of under-19 football with Dumbarton and then played over 20 games in their first team last season. Motherwell signed me and just as I was settling in there I picked up that injury.”
Devlin added, “It was not the best start at a new club and to be honest I was really disappointed. I got myself fit again and getting the chance to go out on loan was a real bonus. I went to Ochilview and played 6 competitive games which was great although it ended on a low when we didn’t qualify for the Play-offs.”
“I had not even thought about winning any Awards as I played for almost the entire season with Dumbarton and never got a mention. I was not expecting it but I am delighted all the same. When you don’t play for 6 months it is good to know you have not been forgotten about.”
The management at Fir Park have certainly not forgotten about Devlin who said, “The manager Stuart McCall, his assistant Kenny Black and head of youth Gordon Young have all been complimenting me on winning the Award which is great but not as great as playing again.”
IRN-BRU GINGER BOOT WINNER – RORY BOULDING (LIVINGSTON FC)
Livingston striker Rory Boulding’s red hot goalscoring form that started in March continued throughout April and his six goal haul last month saw him pick up a pair of Ginger Boots.
The Sheffield born frontman ended his first season north of the border with 12 goals and 10 of those came in the last 8 games of the season and playing regularly appears to be the key to finding the net.
The former Mansfield Town, Bradford City and Accrington Stanley 23 year old said, “I had never played more than 4 or 5 games in a row in my career so it has been terrific for me to play as often as I did towards the end of the season.”
“I had never even played a full 90 minutes for Livingston this season until I went on this run.”
Boulding has had to be patient to get his chance as he said, “John Hughes and John Collins came in and changed our style of training. I enjoyed it and I felt sharper but it was not a case of me getting put straight into the team by them.”
“I had to wait a few weeks to get a start and when I did I scored the twice against Falkirk. After that I scored twice against Partick to end March. Then I scored against Ross County, a hat-trick against Raith Rovers and then another double against Queen of the South to earn my Ginger boots.”
The striker has still to receive a pair of boots in his size saying, “I used a pair for the pictures but I am looking forward to getting my own ones. They are quite bright but I am looking forward to owning a pair.”
The pair may be seen in Scotland next year with Boulding advising, “I am in discussions for next season and we will see what happens. I enjoy playing and living in Scotland and the football is of a far higher standard than it is given credit for.”
GOAL OF THE MONTH WINNER – SCOTT MAXWELL (EAST STIRLINGSHIRE)
East Stirling midfielder Scott Maxwell’s goal in his side’s 6-3 win over Peterhead from just beside the centre circle has been voted as the SFL’s Goal of the Month for March.
Maxwell’s goal saw off other contenders including a fine strike from team-mate Michael Hunter in the same game and a delicate chip from Partick’s Paul Cairney against Falkirk as well as Dieter van Tornhout’s header that won the Scottish Communities League Cup Final against Celtic.
Maxwell’s precise lobbed finish marks a fine first year in the senior ranks for the former Dalkeith Thistle player with the 21 year old saying, “I am delighted that my goal has been chosen as the winner although big Michael is going to be disappointed as he thought he was going to win it.”
“I have scored four goals this season and that one was by far the best. I saw their goalkeeper off his line before letting the ball bounce up and hitting it and the ball went in like a dream.”
Maxwell added, “It was a bit of a crazy game as we were one goal down and then 5-1 up at half time with goals flying in from all directions.”
“I scored directly from a corner against Stranraer this season as well but that was probably down more to a defensive mistake than my cross.”
The Shire may well finish bottom of the SFL however Maxwell will have a spring in his step saying, “I believe I have adapted well to the step up from the Junior game and my goal against Peterhead is a great way of marking my first senior year.”
Cairney’s chip was voted second by the voting panel made up of people from the media in Scotland with Hunter’s goal coming in third.”