The IRN-BRU Phenomenal Award winners have been named for the month of October. After much debate, a judging panel consisting of respresentatives from the Scottish media decided upon the winners.
The winners for October are:
- FIRST DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: JOCKY SCOTT (DUNDEE FC)
- SECOND DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: DANNY LENNON (COWDENBEATH FC)
- THIRD DIVISION MANAGER OF THE MONTH: GARY BOLLAN (LIVINGSTON FC)
- PLAYER OF THE MONTH: TONY BULLOCK (DUNDEE FC)
- YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH: LEIGH GRIFFITHS (DUNDEE FC)
- WINNER OF GOLDEN MATCH BALL: BRIAN FAIRBAIRN (COWDENBEATH FC)
JOCKY SCOTT (DUNDEE FC)
Scott’s side defeated Annan Athletic 3-0 in the ALBA Challenge Cup Semi-Final, saw off Partick Thistle, Morton and Raith Rovers in the IRN-BRU SFL First Division. There were draws on away trips to Ayr and Dunfermline, with the only defeat in the month coming against Rangers in The Co-operative Insurance Cup Fourth Round.
Scott picked up the Manager’s trophy for the second month running and the Dens Park boss said, “Picking up awards is a pleasant habit and long may it continue. It has been a hectic period and we have come through it level with Queen of the South at the top of the League, whereas we started it behind them. We are only a third of the way through the season and there is still a long way to go but I cannot thank the players enough for their efforts so far.”
To emphasise the team effort this month Scott commented, “We must be doing something right as I have a goalkeeper and defenders at one end keeping goals out in fine style, a hard working midfield and exciting forwards at the other sticking goals in.”
Inverness stand in the way of Dundee picking up silverware later this month when the sides meet at McDiarmid Park in The ALBA Challenge Cup Final, with Scott saying, “It is a really good feeling to have a Cup Final to look forward to and it would be great to win a trophy for the club this month as well.”
DANNY LENNON (COWDENBEATH FC)
Lennon’s side had an unbeaten month seeing off Stenhousemuir 2-0 at Ochilview, before thumping Peterhead 5-0 at Central Park with Arbroath defeated 1-0 at their Gayfield ground. East Fife were beaten 2-1 last weekend with Brechin ruining the perfect month when they came back from Central Park with a point after a goalless draw.
Lennon said, “I was actually a bit surprised to find out I had won the award as I tend to focus on the next game only. It wasn’t until I was made aware that I had won that I fully realised how well we had done in October. We got off to a poor start in this division losing our first two games and losing players to injury and suspension but we have bounced back well.”
The early season agony may have been a blessing in disguise with Lennon saying, “I was forced to change the team after a couple of weeks and it meant playing a few of the younger boys and they have done fantastically well. Sometimes the answer is on your own doorstep and I am glad I looked there before looking anywhere else, but it is still early days.”
Cowdenbeath’s run during October lifted them into second place with two of the wins in the month extra special with the
5-0 game against Peterhead being classed by Lennon as, “Probably the best overall display when everything just clicked,” and the victory at Gayfield pleasing because his boys showed they were men.
The Central Park boss said, “At Arbroath, it was backs against the wall for a long time and the players had to show a great deal of resilience and maturity and I was delighted that they did.”
BRIAN FAIRBAIRN (COWDENBEATH FC)
Fairbairn was presented with a Golden Ball at Central Park to mark his strike after just two minutes against local rivals East Fife with SFL Chief Executive, David Longmuir, saying, “I am delighted that Brian found the net so quickly with one of the new match balls. He won it by a minute from East Stirling’s Stephen Maguire and I hope Brian enjoys his unique memento and no matter what else he does in his career, he will always be the first goalscorer with the SFL IRN-BRU Match Ball.”
Fairbairn said, “Not only did my goal win the Golden Ball, it was also my first of the season so it was a bit special. It was a tap-in and one you should never miss and I had not even thought about the significance of the goal until one of the East Fife players told me. The ball had gone out for a corner and during the break in play one of them said, 'You will be pleased with that as you are getting a prize for it.' I was not too sure what he meant until a couple of team-mates made me aware at half-time."
The striker added, "Obviously I am delighted to receive the Golden Ball and we are arranging for the players that played in the game to sign it and then put it on display in one of the lounges at Central Park."
GARY BOLLAN (LIVINGSTON FC)
Livingston boss Gary Bollan’s feat of taking his side to the top of the Third Division table was recognised as he won his first award as a Manager when he was announced as the Phenomenal Manager of the Month for October. The Almondvale side won four times in the month with League wins over Forfar Athletic, Annan Athletic and Montrose added to an Active Nation Scottish Cup win over Queen’s Park with a home draw against Berwick Rangers completing the five fixtures in the month.
Bollan was understandably very pleased saying, “Being new into the job I am obviously delighted to be recognised however, this would not have been achieved without the great efforts of the players and all the coaching staff. It is very early days and it would be great to still be topping the division come May.”
Bollan pinpoints the Forfar result at the beginning of the month as a pivotal moment saying, “Going to Station Park and beating an experienced side told me a lot about the players. I enjoyed that win and I am thoroughly enjoying being a Manager in my own right at Livingston but I recognise that results certainly help that feeling.”
TONY BULLOCK (DUNDEE FC)
Shot-stopper Bullock said, “Things have been going very well over the last month not just for me but for the whole team. My performances have been good and I seemed to have made saves at important times that have helped us get good results. This is my first ever award apart from a Man of the Match performance in The CIS Insurance Cup when I was with Ross County and we won a penalty shoot-out. You can imagine how delighted I am to be recognised at this stage of my career.”
Bullock reckons that his save from a diving header from Partick Thistle’s Simon Donnelly was the pick of the bunch during the month however, he was quick to point out, “It is not just about me, all the players contribute at Dens Park. Also, if I did not have Rab Douglas and Derek Soutar to work with everyday, I doubt if I would have been able to put in the performances I have as they keep pushing me despite not having the starting jersey at the moment.”
LEIGH GRIFFITHS (DUNDEE FC)
Griffiths also collected his second consecutive award and after scoring four goals in October the latest recruit to Scotland’s Under- 21 squad said, “I am delighted to be getting this recognition but it is not going to my head as I will just keep my head down and get on with things. That approach has worked for me so far and long may it continue.”
The 19-year-old netted the winner at Cappielow against Morton, the second goal for Dundee in their draw against Ayr United at Somerset Park and the opener in the Dark Blues 2-0 win over Partick Thistle on their own Dens Park ground.
Griffith’s other goal came against Rangers in The Co-operative Insurance Cup Quarter Final tie and was the strikers favourite from the month. The striker saying, “That was definitely my best goal so far for Dundee. It just flew in from the free kick and I was delighted to draw us level although we were beaten 3-1 at the end. We were the better team for half an hour in that game before an own goal deflated us and then we lost another goal as we pushed for an equaliser.”