With Ally McCoist and Rod Stewart engaged in a public spat—no, really!—over the future of the 2019-20 season in Scotland, we thought it best to spare you the blather and get right to the heart of the matter: our end-of-season awards.
Scotland End-of-Season Awards 2020
Brian P Dunleavy
Because, well, frankly, as the days and weeks go by, we’re less and less optimistic that the “current” campaign will come to a proper end, or at least one that satisfies all interested parties. And, even with eight (or, yes, nine!) matches left, we don’t see our choices changing all that much.
So, without further ado, our winners are:
Player of the Year:
Odsonne Edouard, Celtic
The Frenchman has an astounding 28 goals in 45 appearances across all competitions for the Hoops and, before followers of the EPL or La Liga say anything, that includes six in the club’s European fixtures.
He’s the best player on the league’s best team, and he’s reportedly drawing interest from the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and Lyon, although we’re sure the Parkhead chieftains will be doing their best to keep him around for at least another year.
Manager of the Year:
Stephen Robinson, Motherwell
We know. Had the season ended as scheduled, and Celtic ended up winning the domestic treble yet again, we’d have been hard-pressed not to bestow this honor upon Hoops gaffer Neil Lennon.
However, then we’d be overlooking Lenny’s countryman, Robinson, who had the Steelmen sitting third in the Premiership table when the music, er, season stopped. Yes, they were 21 points behind Rangers, but they also had a squad of players on a fraction of the wages paid at Ibrox—and/or Parkhead, for that matter.
Young Player of the Year:
Lewis Ferguson, Aberdeen;
Alistair McCann, St. Johnstone
All players are young to us these days (we make a version of that joke every year), but Ferguson and McCann, are two young Scots with enormous potential.
McCann’s teammates, for example, have already described the 20-year-old as “undroppable” from the starting XI. Based on potential alone, Celtic’s Mikey Johnston is worthy of a mention, but he can’t seem to stay fit, what with only 21 appearances this term. We also have to mention Motherwell’s Liam Donnelly, who, granted, is 24, but has had a breakout season under Robinson’s tutelage.
Team of the Year:
This one may be the hardest one to dispense, in light of the halted season. True, at the time of the stoppage, Celtic had already secured the League Cup, led the top flight by 13 points and were in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup—in other words, within shouting distance of an astounding fourth consecutive domestic treble.
However, the last two pieces of the triple-trophy combination were far (well, not that far) from secure. Should the domestic season get decided on the pitch—and not in the boardroom—and the Scottish Cup be played out to completion, with Celtic winners take all, then the choice is obvious.
However, if not or at least until then, let’s go with Motherwell, if only because we look forward to seeing Europa League scoreboard watchers scratch their heads at the sight of the Steelmen on the ticker.
Story of the Year:
Growing American interest and investment in Scottish football—In October, Aberdeen joined the ranks of Hibernian, Dundee and Dundee United, all of whom have ties to the United States, with Yanks (or at least Stateside-based businessmen with Scots roots) as primary shareholders or members of their respective boards.
Aberdeen even has an informal partnership with MLS club Atlanta United. It’s an interesting trend, although we don’t necessarily know what it means for the long-term future of the league. Or if the league has a future, for that matter.