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The Annual Full Scottish Awards for 2023-24

With another season over it’s time to present our annual Scottish awards for the past season. And the winners are..

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Scottish Awards 2023-24

Manager Of The Year

Steven Naismith, Hearts

St. Mirren’s Stephen Robinson and Killie’s Derek McInnes made our shortlist for this award, but given where we thought Hearts would finish in the league, it has to go to Naismith. Folks around Gorgie considered Naismith’s appointment a sign that the club lacked ambition. However, a strong third-place finish and 20 wins later, they’re likely singing a different tune. Yes, Brendan Rodgers did a masterful job getting Celtic over the line, and St. Mirren and Killie will be in Europe next season, but Naismith surprised many, including us.

Player of the Year

Matt O’Riley, Celtic

No contest here. O’Riley was both scorer and facilitator for the Hoops this term, and his play has caught the eyes of many clubs around Europe. The only (pleasant) surprise here will be that he stays in Glasgow for another season.

Young Player of the Year

Lennon Miller, Motherwell

lennon miller

At 17, young Miller has already been tipped for bigger things. Reports suggest he’ll change his address from Fir Park to Glasgow as soon as this summer. The teenager already plays like an adult, which he demonstrated in nearly 20 appearances for a struggling side.

Comeback Player of the Year

Lawrence Shankland, Hearts

Yes, it was TWO seasons ago that Shankland’s career seemed lost in Belgium, but the prolific striker not only improved on his goal output from 2022-23 this term, he became the club captain in the process. Now, again, the chatter has him seeking greener pastures, but the pitch at Tynecastle must look pretty good to him already.

Story of the Season

St. Johnstone Stays Up

There was the temptation to cite the mutual adoration between Joe Hart and the Celtic support (an Englishman and a Scottish club with Irish roots, no less), or even the turnaround the goalkeeper’s manager, Rodgers, performed for the Hoops in the latter stages of the season.

However, we’re going to go with the Perth side avoiding relegation, an outcome that seemed highly unlikely as recently as February or even March. According to Saints player Liam Gordon, the club started the preseason with 12 fit players in training, and half of them were from its U18 side. They languished at the bottom of the table for most of the campaign, changing managers in November.

As Gordon told the press, “I would say staying up this season has been the best achievement as a St Johnstone player. The success we’ve had in the past, being in the top six and winning cups—you don’t learn anything from that. When success comes it’s easy, but when there’s so much thrown at you all the time you have to dig deep.”

Now, it’s incumbent upon the Saints to build on successful survival next season. Ah, next season—already we can’t wait.

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