Hearts' Lawrence Shankland lands PFA player of year award as Rangers-Celtic strike and Invincible manager pick up gongs

The Jambos talisman has scored 28 goals this season and helped club finish third in Premiership

Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland has been named as PFA Scotland Premiership Player of the Year. The 28-year-old striker has scored 28 goals for Hearts as well as one with Scotland this season and is likely to be included in Steve Clarke’s squad for this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

"I’m delighted,” said Shankland, who becomes the first non-Celtic or Rangers player to win the award since Motherwell’s Michael Higdon in 2013. “It’s a trophy that not many players outside the Old Firm win. You just have to look at that roll of honour you are joining, there are some real football legends in there. It’s a really proud moment. It shows you have made an impression on other teams in the division.”

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Rangers goalkeeper Jack Butland was on a four-man list alongside team-mate James Tavernier and Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley but Shankland proved the most popular among his peers. There was an award for an Ibrox player, though, with Rabbi Matondo landing Goal of the Season for his stoppage-time strike in last month’s 3-3 draw with Celtic.

Lawrence Shankland has been in excellent form for Hearts this season.Lawrence Shankland has been in excellent form for Hearts this season.
Lawrence Shankland has been in excellent form for Hearts this season.

Kilmarnock midfielder David Watson was voted PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year. The 19-year-old has helped Killie into fourth place in the cinch Premiership and scored twice against leaders Celtic. Lennon Miller of Motherwell, Dundee’s Lyall Cameron and Rangers winger Ross McCausland were the other nominees.

Falkirk’s John McGlynn was left with an “amazing” feeling after been named PFA Scotland Manager of the Year. The 62-year-old led the Bairns to an unbeaten League One campaign as champions and secured promotion to the Championship. McGlynn’s side won 27 and drew nine of their 36 games, with a late Brad Spencer penalty earning a 2-2 draw at home to Alloa in the final game of the season.

“It feels amazing,” the former Raith Rovers, Hearts and Livingston boss said. “It has been a great season and this has been the icing on the cake. To go through as Invincibles, not many have done it and the way we have done it. It is at the very top as a manager. I have won it (the league) twice with Raith Rovers and here with Falkirk but to do it as Invincibles, to do it in such a manner we have done it, it beats everything else.”

Other nominees for the award, in association with Scottish Managers & Coaches Association, were Kilmarnock’s Derek McInnes and Dundee’s Tony Docherty.

John McGlynn led Falkirk to an invincible season in League One.John McGlynn led Falkirk to an invincible season in League One.
John McGlynn led Falkirk to an invincible season in League One.

Rangers boss Jo Potter was named Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 Manager of the Year as the Light Blues completed a notable treble. Rachel Rowe was voted PFA Scotland SWPL 1 Player of the Year winner and Mia McAulay won the PFA Scotland SWPL 1 Young Player of the Year award

Rangers, who won the Sky Sports Cup earlier in the season, are vying with Old Firm rivals Celtic at the top of the league ahead of their meeting on Monday and are in the Scottish Cup final against Hearts at Hampden Park.

Potter said: “It is a huge honour. We have already won one trophy, which is huge for us, we are in another cup final and in the race to win the title, so we are in a very good position so far – I have my players and staff to thank for that.”

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The other nominees were Hibernian’s Grant Scott and Partick Thistle’s Brian Graham, although the Jags boss, who doubles as striker for the Maryhill men’s

side, was crowned Championship Player of the Year. The 36-year-old striker has scored 24 goals this season to earn a play-off spot, where they will take on Airdrieonians.

He said: “At 36 years of age, did I ever think I was going to win this award? Probably not but to be recognised by my fellow professionals is really special. Fingers crossed come the play-offs I can score a few more goals and we will try to get through the first leg and move from there. I would love to be part of the team that managed to get Partick Thistle back to the Premiership and fingers crossed it’s this season.”

Falkirk winger Callumn Morrison was named League 1 Player of the Year while 34-year-old Stenhousemuir defender Gregor Buchanan won the League 2 award.



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