The Scotsman's Premiership Awards - Ange Postecoglou, Rangers, Sky Sports, Craig Gordon & Dundee

After 228 league games, six play-off encounters and 575 goals, the Scottish Premiership season came to an end on Monday night.

As ever there were moments of brilliance and incompetence, madness and mayhem, plus amusement and bafflement in equal measure.

Here are The Scotsman’s Premiership awards celebrating the season that has just been:

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Player of the Year

There were a host of candidates but it is hard to look past Scotland No 1. Not only was Craig Gordon the best, most consistent performer across the Premiership season but he is probably the Most Valuable Player to any one team. From the first league game of the season when he made a vital block deep in stoppage time to deny James Forrest, he has delivered for Robbie Neilson’s men on a weekly basis.

It would be harsh on his team-mates to suggest he is the reason Hearts finished third. But he is a big reason they cantered to ‘best of the rest’. At the age of 39, he doesn’t look like slowing anytime soon. The agility, the ability to move across the goal at lightning speed and the jaw-dropping reactions are all still very much there.

Young Player of the Year (21 or under at the start of the season)

Step forward Calvin Bassey. No one could have predicted how his season would develop. Injuries to Filip Helander and Leon Balogun required a solution. That solution may well earn Rangers a record transfer fee. A bit-part player last season as back-up to Borna Barisic to one of the club's best players who played centre-back in a back three and back four, as well as full-back and wing-back. Incredible strength, recovering pace, aggression, a willingness to engage. The raw materials are there for a colossal defender at the top level.

Celtic Manager Ange Postecoglou and Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Manager of the Year

Some may argue that Ange Postecoglou spent £Xmillion on players and won a double, big deal. But you have to remember where Celtic were and where they are now, plus the expectation that the Australian, as second choice and an unknown on these shores, would be eaten up by Scottish football. By the end of the season he had Scottish football eating out the palm of his hand. Not only has he transformed Celtic from the disaster of last season but he has done so playing an entertaining, high-tempo style of football.

Most Improved Player of the Year

Putting Bassey to one side to allow us to spread the love, this is another award which has a fair few candidates. Jack Fitzwater has come on leaps and bounds at Livingston, Dundee United’s Ross Graham has shown huge progression over the course of the season, Craig Halkett at Hearts and then there is Anthony Ralston at Celtic. But from inconsistent performer in a variety of positions with no league goals last campaign to hitting ten this season, Regan Charles-Cook has flourished under Malky Mackay. Given the platform to get the best out of him, he has been devastating at times.

Rangers Calvin Bassey has been a revelation this season. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

Biggest Letdown of the Year

It would be easy to look at Aberdeen and Hibs here, plus their appointments of Stephen Glass and Shaun Maloney. But the way their season’s unravelled with both managers being sacked there will be many within Scottish football who didn't see that as a surprise. However, from double cup winners to slogging it out in the play-off to maintain their Premiership place, St Johnstone waltzed to this award.

The inquest has long begun amongst Saints fans with regards to scatter-gun recruitment or Callum Davidson's tactics but selling two of the most important players – Jason Kerr and Ali McCann – on deadline day was just asking for trouble. Trouble which arrived.

Signing of the Season

Bruce Anderson has been an excellent signing for Livingston. (Photo by Roddy Scott / SNS Group)

You have to hand it to Premiership clubs, they have unearthed some excellent recruits. Dundee United were an infinitely better side when Dylan Levitt played. Hearts added well, particularly Barrie McKay and his creativity. You could name half a dozen at Celtic. But the winner is Bruce Anderson. He was just a perfect fit for Livingston, an upgrade on Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who went to Aberdeen. Eleven league goals at a rate of 0.59 per 90 minutes played. Excellent business.

Most Disappointing Signing of the Season

Yikes, where do you start?! Well, how about Premier League loanees who arrived with a strong reputation but never really delivered.

Ben Woodburn arrived at Hearts with a fine reputation from Liverpool, That reputation didn't deliver nearly consistently enough but there were real flashes of quality, namely a double in a win over Dundee United. Then there was Matty Longstaff. The Newcastle United midfielder was regarded as a coup for Aberdeen. His short stint was as memorable as the Dons’ season.

What about a player handed a lucrative contract but impact was negligible? James McCarthy.

What about a player handed a lucrative contract and, months later, is no longer even at the club? Chris Mueller.

Ali McCann and Jason Kerr were sold by St Johnstone. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

However, Aaron Ramsey. A huge name, a huge build-up to his signing. Yet, when the Europa League final went to penalties it was always going to be him. He is clearly still a very good player but he wasn’t as nearly as reliable as Rangers would have wanted. If anything, we’ll always have that corner against Annan Athletic.

Goal of the Season

Connor Ronan and Dylan Levitt appeared to going back and forth with their efforts for St Mirren and Dundee United respectively. But it has to go to Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield for the improvisation and panache in which he demonstrated to steer Borna Barisic’s clipped cross up and over Livingston’s Max Stryjek into the far corner from the edge of the six-yard box. A goal which just makes you want to kiss your fingers and say something in Italian.

Best team performance of the season

No club in the country reached the heights Celtic did in the first 45 minutes of the Old Firm derby in February. They blew Rangers off the park. It was 3-0 going on 6-0 with Reo Hatate running the show in midfield. It was everything Postecoglou wanted from his side. Energy, pressing, verve, attacking. Relentless. They could even afford to take the second half off.

Worst Decision of the Season

This is an award that is tailor-made for Dundee. The club thought the best thing for their survival was to sack a manager in James McPake who was hugely popular within the club and replace him with a manager in Mark McGhee who would not only be serving a lengthy touchline ban, but was last in permanent charge at Barnet in 2018. What’s worse, it came after a win over Hearts which left the team in 11th and could have been a turning point in the season. McGhee was in charge for 13 league games, talked about turning the heating off, going on a diet and even going naked but he didn’t want to talk about substituting Charlie Adam. Dundee won once and finished six points adrift at the bottom.

Making football fun award

It wasn't all bad at Dundee. No team completed more nutmegs in the Scottish Premiership than the Dens Park side. That should count for something at least! The star of the show was Paul McMullan with 11 nutmegs, four more than Jota and Ryan Kent.

Tiresome moan award

It's not artificial pitches, nor is it the size of the league. But this season saw the split come into question as seven teams chased two European spots prior to the split. It was unfair, some noted, that Livingston, St Mirren, Hibs and Aberdeen had their chances of Europe denied after 33 games. Every team coming into the season knows how the league works. Especially for Hibs and Aberdeen, if you can’t get into the top six after 33 games then tough luck. Plus, it made for some great entertainment on match-day 33 – or Super Saturday Split Showdown. Ricki Lamie’s stoppage-time goal for Motherwell v Livingston, anyone?

Must Improve Award

Sky Sports. For the second year running the Premiership’s UK broadcaster failed to take up their full 48 allocation of games. Do better. Do a lot better. Yet, it also says a lot about other broadcasters who clearly didn't value Scottish football enough to out-bid Sky.

The Chuckles University Amusement award

Can I shock you? Dundee have a couple of nominations for this. Whether it was their defending in losing 4-0 to Livingston. Or 5-0 to Ross County. There was also that Dens Park pie which appeared to have been forged in the depths of Mordor. Chris Mueller tweeting about an owl and being called out on it by Martin Boyle. Shaun Rooney celebrating a yellow card in the recent play-off final. But props to Rangers. They really played up the fact it was an Old Firm derby against Celtic with signage around Ibrox. They lost 2-1 and the following days the Old Firm signage could be found hanging out a bin outside Ibrox.

Lifetime achievement award

After 25 years, 19 as a professional and 571 matches, Andrew Considine is leaving Aberdeen. It will be surreal seeing him in the strip of another team. It was an exit which could have been handled better but in terms of his service to the Dons, it's second to none. Prior to this campaign, he made 40 or more appearances in seven straight seasons.

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Dundee sacking James McPake was a decision that backfired. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)