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And the nominees are…

Date: 14th March 2018

By Scott Johnston, Editor of The Footy Blog & DP for Full Time Films.

We’ve just had the Oscars, so it’s that time of the year when we think about the top player awards in Scottish football. Let me discuss which four players I believe deserve to be nominated for the player of the year award.

Scott Brown (Celtic)

The Celtic captain might be getting older but he seems to be getting better with age. Has been instrumental in Celtic having another season on top. In the big games against the likes of Rangers and Aberdeen, the central midfielder has come to the fore and bossed the all important midfield battles.

The thirty-two year old has become a target for opponents but that hasn’t stopped him leading by example. He plays with a confidence that then engulfs his teammates. He gives his side everything; whether it be in the tackle, battling for the ball in the air or creating an assist. He has had a terrific season and played in over forty games already this term. Loves having the captain’s armband, has stepped up a level playing under Brendan Rodgers and has a steely desire to protect the defensive line.

Christophe Berra (Hearts)

Make no mistake, Berra wasn’t hounded out of English football. In fact he was well liked in the English Championship and chose to come home for personal reasons. That decision has been a huge plus for Hearts this season. He brings the team a wealth of experience and his presence at the back has been a major factor in why Hearts have remained in the top six (along with goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin).

Berra is a defender, who likes to defend. Too many centre-backs these days want to play from the back and that’s fine if they have the brains and ability to do so but if you can’t do it then don’t! Christophe is wise enough to understand that. He’s at the back to block shots, win tackles and head the ball away from his penalty area. Those are tasks that he’s stuck too and it’s worked well for him and his club.

The thirty-thee year old has offered Hearts boss Craig Levein consistency and that’s exactly what was needed at Tynecastle this year.

John McGinn (Hibs)

We knew John McGinn was a good player when he won an international call-up while playing for Hibs in Scotland’s second tier but the midfielder has been even better this season in the Scottish Premiership.

The midfield man has a superb left foot that’s capable of playing great cross field passes or striking accurate shots from distance. Has produced very accomplished and mature performances in the big games against the Old Firm sides and in the Edinburgh derby too. Shows plenty of desire and drive to burst forward and to get on the ball. The great thing for Scottish football is that at twenty-three years of age, John is still improving.

McGinn has five league goals and four assists so far this campaign. His performances have seen speculation grow over his future, what’s for sure is that he’ll be an international for Scotland for years to come.

Kieran Tierney (Celtic)

The young left-back keeps progressing and was selected by UEFA in their breakout team of the year alongside PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio in December.

Like most modern day full-backs, Tierney likes to attack and he can score cracking goals too (the strike against Kilmarnock in the League Cup springs to mind). Yet Kieran also understands his main duty is to defend; he’s quick to get back into position and ready to challenge for the ball again. The defender is extremely disciplined and he clearly loves to play football for the club he grew up supporting. Tierney is a very smart, versatile player and has the ability to play as a right-back or as a centre-back if he’s needed to do so.

Some might question why I’ve picked Kieran Tierney ahead of the likes of James Forrest and James Tavernier? Well I suppose it is for two reasons. Firstly, the twenty year old international offers more consistency. Secondly, I think Kieran is more reliable in giving you a top performance in the bigger occasions.

Now we’ll have to wait and see who get’s recognised by the media, the sponsors and their peers. Please let us know who you’d nominate as I believe Scottish football has had quite a few stars plying their trade in our leagues this year!

Got a view? Have your say on the Scottish Supporters Network forum or reach us on Twitter.

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