Niall McGinn is indebted to Craig Brown

ABERDEEN striker Niall McGinn thanked former manager Craig Brown for converting him to a striker and making him a contender for Player of the Year.

Brown moved struggling winger McGinn into a striking role after securing his switch from Brentford. The former Celtic youth repaid his faith with 19 goals for the Pittodrie outfit, now managed by Derek McInnes.

“Personally, it’s been an unbelievable season for me,” said the Northern Irishman. “I’ve been playing in a new position and I’ve had a new lease of life. It’s been great and I’ve loved every moment of it. It’s probably been the best year of my career.

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“Craig did a lot for me. He saw different attributes in me to become a striker. I thrived on the ideas he gave me. He was unbelievable to work under.”

Fellow nominee Andrew Shinnie of Inverness has overcome a series of injuries to score 15 goals for the Highland club. He will join Birmingham City next season but wants to help Caley Thistle secure their first ever European place before

leaving. He said: “Clinching a European slot would be a great way to go. It’s been a great season.”