The IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Award winners have been named for the month of September. After much debate, a judging panel consisting of respresentatives from the Scottish media decided upon the winners.
- IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal First Division Manager of the Month – Jim Jefferies (Dunfermline Athletic)
- IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Second Division Manager of the Month – to be announced next week
- IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Third Division Manager of the Month – to be announced next week
- IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Player of the Month – to be announced next week
- IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Young Player of the Month – Archie Campbell (Morton)
- IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Ginger Boot Winner: Archie Campbell (Morton)
IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL FIRST DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: JIM JEFFERIES (DUNFERMINE ATHLETIC)
Dunfermline Athletic’s fine September that saw them win four First Division games in a row has been recognised with the award of the IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal First Division Manager of the Month to their Manager Jim Jefferies.
The award means as much to the 61-year-old as the first one he received over 20 years ago in the same division as he explained: “I was in charge of Falkirk in the early nineties and I remember being really pleased when the Chairman, David Holmes, called to tell me that I had won a First Division Award. I remember getting the call as I was just going to a game to see Eddie May play and I signed him for Falkirk not long afterwards.
“I have not managed in the First Division for a long time but I am delighted to win this and I called the players together before I came over to Hampden to pick it up to thank them for their help. They and the backroom staff have all contributed to a good month for the club.”
Jefferies added: “Hopefully, it is the first of many because if I am picking up awards, the team must be doing well.”
The Pars saw off local rivals Raith Rovers, Dumbarton, Livingston and Hamilton Academical last month scoring 12 times and only conceding once with Jefferies pleased that his side are showing a bit of style as he said: “The boys have impressed me with how they have gelled and it is great that we have a bit of an attacking edge to our game. We had to restructure in the summer after relegation and I would like to think I have an eye for a player in the SFL and have recruited well in Josh Falkingham, Andy Geggan and Ryan Wallace.
“They have settled in well alongside the likes of the experienced players Paul Gallacher and Andy Borrowman who have had a lift from the freshness the new players bring. Stephen Jordan is another player who has contributed a lot and he has shown very quickly the experience he picked up playing for several years at Manchester City. He has quality and a great pedigree and he is helping our youngsters a lot as well.”
The one blip last month was a narrow 1-0 Scottish Communities League Cup defeat from Aberdeen however, it was still a positive experience for Jefferies and his Pars' team with the East End Park boss saying: “Playing SPL opposition was a big step up for us but we ran Aberdeen extremely close. It was a fantastic game where we hit the crossbar and the post and their goalkeeper Jamie Langfield made some great saves.
“Craig Brown told me afterwards that they were fortunate to get through and he was right. It was heartening for everyone that we could play as well as that and despite losing, the type of football we played that night will give us confidence.”
Jefferies started his managerial career nearly 30 years ago at Gala Fairydean and he still enjoys it as much as he did then saying: “I remain really pleased that I came to Dunfermline and that I have been able to build a new team. It is a great opportunity and I would not be doing it if I was not enjoying it.”
The Pars 2-2 draw with Falkirk at the weekend took them to the summit of the First Division and Jefferies added: “We have a great opportunity to see if the side we have built can continue to progress. We want to keep playing well and progressing and if we can do that with a bit of style, everyone will be pleased.”
IRN-BRU SFL PHENOMENAL YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH/GINGER BOOT AWARD WINNER: ARCHIE CAMPBELL (MORTON)
Morton striker Archie Campbell’s six of the best in September was more than enough for the 21-year-old striker to be named as the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Young Player of the Month for the month.
The one time Rangers striker notched a hat-trick in his side’s 3-0 success over Dumbarton before scoring once in the 4-3 success over hosts Cowdenbeath and a brace in the 3-2 win over Airdrie United.
The half a dozen goal haul also saw Campbell awarded the Ginger Boot Award for being the month’s top goalscorer in the SFL.
Campbell said: “It is great to be recognised in what has been a great month for me on a personal level with six goals and a great month for the team with four wins in a row.”
The Cappielow men remain dark horses for promotion sitting in third place behind both Dunfermline Athletic and Partick Thistle with Campbell saying: “We have a good squad and we can put in a challenge if we keep doing what we have been doing in the past month and get good results.
“Last season was not the best for the club but the Manager has rebuilt the squad well and we have guys such as Scott Taggart and Peter MacDonald still to come back so competition for places will be fierce.”
Striker Campbell was one of the few players kept on by Manager Allan Moore after an eighth place finish last season and the frontman said: “I was fortunate to be offered a new deal as the Manager has really changed the team around. I didn’t play for about six months which was frustrating but when I got my chance at the end of last season, I took it and scored a few goals. That was enough for me to be offered a new deal and hopefully, I am repaying the faith the Manager showed in me.”
Campbell started his career at Rangers but he has no regrets at how his career has turned out despite many youngsters now being in the Ibrox first team as he said: “I had my time at Rangers and have some great memories but I am a Morton player now and that is what it is all about for me.
“I scored goals in the various teams I was in at Rangers and have scored at both here and Cowdenbeath. I was at Central Park four months and got eight goals and I would like to think that I have a decent record in that if I get a chance, I will get a goal.”
Being a Morton player could mean being involved in a promotion push this season with Campbell saying: “We would like to mount a challenge and keep in touch with Dunfermline and Partick Thistle who have both got off to great starts. We have won five games in a row now and if we can build on that positively, we will be there or thereabouts.
“We started well last season but then fell away and perhaps we got a bit complacent as we had a lead but then we had a bad spell when we won only one game in ten. However, we have put that behind us.”
The introduction of an experienced backbone in the Greenock side has been welcomed with Campbell saying: “We have players in our team that have the experience of winning this division and that can only help us. There are also a lot of younger players at Morton and we can only learn good things from them.”