Stuart Armstrong aims to use award as springboard

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TALENTED Dundee United youngster Stuart Armstrong was stunned to be named Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year – but has vowed to become an even bigger success next season.

Armstrong beat off a host of contenders to lift the prize for his impressive displays this season. The highly-rated Scotland under-21 player said the award topped a remarkable transformation after a slow start to the season and is now setting his sights on taking his game to the next level.

Armstrong, who will face champions Celtic in tomorrow’s final-day SPL clash at Tannadice, said: “I’m delighted especially after the season some other young players at a lot of clubs have had. So I was a bit surprised to be given the award, although very happy to be in this position.

“There are a lot of great names who have won this trophy in the past. I wasn’t really starting games at the beginning of the season so to come away with this award is something I couldn’t have imagined. I’m really happy with the improvement I’ve made.

“Now I hope to kick on so that I can improve personally and make a bigger impact on games and improve on certain aspects of my play.

“My overall performance has improved, my position within the club and I’m maybe thought of a bit more prior to what I was last season.”

Armstrong considered the prospect of a loan spell earlier in the campaign but the Aberdeen-born midfielder hasn’t looked back since making his big break in the top team.

He added: “I tried to go on loan but the squad was short at United and luckily Peter Houston gave me a chance, a wee run in the team, and I managed to stay in and I’ve been in and around the first-team every since. Going on loan was an option, but we didn’t have a club lined up. Peter wanted me to stay in the end. The new manager has kept faith in me and has belief in young players and to have his confidence is a big factor.

“Having the experience of people such as Jon Daly, Willo Flood and Sean Dillon, who have been around for a while and experienced big games is quite important and they give great tips and advice from day to day so I owe them a lot too.”