The IRN-BRU 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.
The winners for September are:
- FIRST DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: JOCKY SCOTT (DUNDEE FC)
- SECOND DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: ALLAN MOORE (STIRLING ALBION FC)
- THIRD DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: JIM MCINALLY (EAST STIRLINGSHIRE FC)
- PLAYER OF THE MONTH: DEREK GASTON (ALBION ROVERS FC)
- YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH: LEIGH GRIFFITHS (DUNDEE FC)
JOCKY SCOTT (DUNDEE FC)
Dundee Manager, Jocky Scott, won the IRN-BRU Phenomenal First Division Manager of the Month award for September following a run of four wins in three different competitions. High flying Second Division side Stirling Albion were knocked out of The ALBA Challenge Cup 2-1 on their Forthbank ground by Scott’s side, home wins were secured over Dunfermline Athletic and the then League leaders Ross County at Dens Park without the loss of a goal. However, the jewel in Dundee’s month was the 3-2 Co-operative Insurance Cup extra-time success over SPL side Aberdeen.
This was Scott’s third award since returning to Dens Park eleven months ago and he was asked if this award was particularly satisfying as it marked his first with a re-cast team following a busy summer period of transfer activity for the 61-year-old.
Scott said, “Any award you get is satisfying and nice to get. This one is no different and every one that you win is entirely down to the players as they go out and get results with their performances. We started slowly in August but have settled down now, the players know each other better and apart from the Queen of the South result, it was an almost perfect month.”
The only blemish in Dundee’s month that Scott referred too was a 2-0 reverse at Queen of the South however, that result too could have been very different if goalkeeper Tony Bullock had not been dismissed wrongly after only five minutes.
Scott commented, “I said at the time that I thought that was a wrong decision and the referee to his credit, agreed when he watched it again. It does not change anything or get us the points back but credit to the match official for admitting he made a mistake. In saying that, we missed a few chances that day too.”
LEIGH GRIFFITHS (DUNDEE FC)
Dundee’s 19-year-old striker, Leigh Griffiths, made it a Dark Blues’ double when he joined Manager Jocky Scott in being awarded an IRN-BRU Phenomenal Award for September. Scott won the First Division Award with Griffiths awarded the Young Players accolade after finding the net five times in the month.
Two goals were scored against Stirling Albion in The ALBA Challenge Cup Quarter Final tie with another brace added against the First Division’s then leaders Ross County with the former Livingston striker also scoring the winner against SPL side Aberdeen in The Co-operative Insurance Cup Third Round.
All the goals were important to the striker however, two were particularly special with Griffiths saying, “The goals at Stirling got us through to the Semi-Final of The ALBA Challenge Cup and the strike against Aberdeen was important because it has set up a great tie for the club against Rangers in the next round of that competition. The two against Ross County were the most important to me as they were at Dens Park and were my first League goals for the club.”
Scotland B Internationalist Griffiths is enjoying life at Dens saying, “I am feeling a lot more settled now that I have got to know everyone at Dundee and I am looking forward to a good season at the club.”
ALLAN MOORE (STIRLING ALBION FC)
Stirling Albion Manager, Allan Moore (left), was awarded the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Second Division Manager of the Month award after his Forthbank side moved to the top of the table following wins over East Fife and Cowdenbeath. Moore’s side also ran Scott’s Dundee side close in their ALBA Challenge Cup Quarter Final at the beginning of the month, missing several chances before going down 2-1.
Stirling Albion were on the coat-tails of the Play-Off pack last season without ever grabbing a foothold in the top four however, this season it looks different as improvements at both ends of the pitch have been evident.
Moore explained, “I went for a 3-5-2 formation at the start of the season for both tactical and personnel reasons. Last year we lost too many goals and I thought that having Andy Gibson on the right of midfield and David O’Brien on the left offered us more protection and so far it has worked. Being able to bring David back to the club helped make up my mind as has the form of the defenders, especially Andy Graham, who has continued to give his all for the cause.”
Events at the other end of the pitch have also pleased Moore with his strike force of Martin Grehan, David McKenna and Martin Mullen earning praise with the 44-year-old saying, “We have gelled better at the start of this season but more importantly, the strikers have started scoring goals earlier this season than they did last time out.”
JIM MCINALLY (EAST STIRLINGSHIRE FC)
An unbeaten September with his side winning three games out of four saw East Stirlingshire Manager, Jim McInally, selected as the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Third Division Manager of the Month. McInally’s men recovered from a 5-1 defeat from Forfar Athletic at the end of August to see of Queen’s Park 1-0, Montrose 3-0 and Livingston 3-1. Stranraer were the only team to take a point from the ’Shire grabbing a 1-1 draw at Ochilview.
DEREK GASTON (ALBION ROVERS FC)
Albion Rovers goalkeeper, Derek Gaston (right), has added saving shots in the Third Division to saving lives in the Time Capsule Swimming Pool in Coatbridge and been rewarded with the IRN-BRU Phenomenal Player of the Month for September.
The 22-year-old only signed with Rovers in July, his first professional club, made his debut in August and having lost only one goal in September, he was thrilled to be named as the best player in the SFL for the month.
Gaston said, “It has been quite a transformation for me as last season I was playing Juvenile football on public parks and now this. I had thought it was just a Third Division honour and was pleased with that but it is fantastic to know it is for all three divisions.”
The shot-stopper, who picked up his award sporting a black eye courtesy of a recent challenge in a match against East Stirlingshire, reckons that his lifeguard training helps him in football, although thankfully, not just in the art of diving.
Gaston explained, “As a lifeguard, you have to spend a long time just concentrating on what is going on around you without ever really doing anything. I have had to dive in and pull a couple of people out when the wave machine is on and they have got out of their depth. Being a goalkeeper is like that, when you are called into action, you have to react really quickly.”
Gaston added, “So far everything is going great for me at Albion Rovers. I never had trials anywhere else when I was growing up or anything like that and I was delighted to extend my contract for another year. I am really enjoying playing at the club as there is a good spirit but of course, I am ambitious and despite coming late to football, I would obviously like to be a full time player one day.”