Christian Nade’s rollercoaster of a career in Scotland took an upward direction last night when the Dumbarton striker was chosen as the Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Month for March.
The 31-year-old Frenchman was roundly criticised for his efforts during a three-season stay at Hearts, helped Dundee to promotion, and scored the winning goal for Raith Rovers in a Scottish Cup tie against Rangers before landing at the Sons after being underused at Hamilton.
A three-goal blast against Alloa, and a strong performance against promotion-chasing Falkirk, where he earned a last gasp penalty that allowed Dumbarton to get a point, were the highlights last month and Nade is delighted with the recognition.
Nade said: “I am really happy to pick up this award and it confirms that moving to Dumbarton in January was the right decision. My agent told me to go somewhere where I would be on the scene and play again.
“March was one of the best months of my career. To win this award in a league that has players from Rangers, Hibs and Falkirk playing in it is terrific.
“When you consider that Kenny Miller has scored a lot of goals, and Lee Wallace has been amazing all season, being chosen is very special indeed.”
As well as being his first award, March also featured Nade going home with his first match-ball. He added: “It was my first ever hat-trick but I have to thank my team-mates for their part. They are doing a lot of hard work for me and that has allowed me to play in a different way for the first time in Scotland.”
“If you look at my goal record for Hearts it shows that I was not played as a goalscorer. The players around about me scored plenty of goals but my job was to set them up. At Dumbarton the coach wants me in the box to score so that is the role I am playing now.”
“Garry Fleming does all the dirty work and he is actually better at it than I was.”
With the Sons in eighth place Nade wants to repay Aitken’s faith in him. He explained: “It is really important to me that I help keep Dumbarton in the Championship. We have a squad that is capable of winning the required games between now and the end of the season to do that.”