Mirren Mad Awards 2012
Feature by Stuart Gillespie
Updated Sunday, 20th May 2012
With the season over it's time for Mirren Mad's readers to put on their glad rags for our annual awards ceremony.
All the usual awards, as well as a few silly ones, are here as I try to make some lame jokes. Let's get stuck in.
Player of the Year: Paul McGowan. I wasn't too fussed about him coming back after his loan spell but I'd be disappointed if he left now. A completely different player to the one we borrowed from Celtic now that he's playing in his correct position, a big move and Scotland call ups surely await. Could do with scoring a few more goals and being less moany but you can't have everything.
Young Player of the Year: Kenny McLean. Retains the award after kicking up a gear or two this season. Has added goals to his game and another who has been linked with moves away. A bright future in store.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Marc McAusland. We all got rather worried when Darren McGregor got injured but, aside from the odd dodgy moment, Cheesy has developed into a fairly reliable and consistent performer at this level. Still rather raw but this was only his second year of SPL football. Paul McGowan not up for this award due to being named player of the year.
Goal of the Season - individual effort: Jim Goodwin v Motherwell. A stunning strike from about 30 yards from the Saints captain that flew into the top corner - made even more remarkable by the fact he wouldn't have been on the pitch had the referee noticed him punching Steve Jennings!
Goal of the Season - team effort: Steven Thompson v Rangers. Most teams would try a hail Mary into the box in stoppage time as they fought for a last minute goal, but with our new style of play we produced some terrific passes before the Thommohawk finished it off to send Buddies everywhere wild.
Individual Performance of the Season: Paul McGowan v Rangers. An assist, a goal and a terrifically energetic performance in midfield as he resembled the Energizer Bunny. Should have had a second goal in stoppage time too.
Signing of the Season: Steven Thompson. We all wondered who would get the goals with Michael Higdon going, Steven Thompson hardly being the most prolific striker during his career. 16 goals, including a hat-trick against Dunfermline, quickly put that right.
Highlight of the Season: Beating Rangers on Christmas Eve. Coming from behind to win while exorcising the ghost of failing to beat a nine man Rangers - and all on Christmas Eve.
Lowlight of the Season: Losing to Ayr United. Yet another shocking performance against a lower league side in the cup capped off by conceding a goal 10 minutes from time. Not only did we miss out on a semi-final at Hampden but Ayr would go on to lose to Kilmarnock, who then beat Celtic in the final.
Best Decision of the Season: Bringing Paul McGowan back permanently. Few folk would have been too bothered if Gowser hadn't returned based on his performances last season but he soon put that right with a series of stunning performances.
Worst Decision of the Season: Danny Lennon deciding there is no plan B. We all enjoyed the attractive, attacking football but when teams have sussed it out or are happy to assemble their men behind the ball you need an alternative. Lennon decided there was no need for one which, among other things, cost us a cup semi-final.
Surprise of the Season: Craig Samson. Stepped into the number one role following the departure of Paul Gallacher and, aside from the odd mistake, looked reasonably solid. Probably more unexpected from fans of his former club than Buddies!
Disappointment of the Season: Graham Carey. Many people, including myself, were rather excited when he agreed to join us permanently a year after his loan spell from Celtic. However, fitness issues meant we only saw flashes of what he was capable of.
Manager of the Season: Kenny Shiels. He may not be to everyone's taste but at least he speaks his mind - even if his mind is quite often wrong. Winning the League Cup by beating Celtic was a terrific achievement.
Services to Comedy Award: Rangers. Be it Duff and Phelps, Craig Whyte, the Blue Knights, Charles Green or anyone else - it was the story that began on Valentine's Day and continues to give. Fairly impressive considering Neil Lennon's constant whining and touchline antics looked likely to retain the reward.
Forgotten Man Award: Aaron Mooy. The young Aussie midfielder retains the award, although did make a bit more of an impact than last season by scoring against Rangers. Apart from that Danny Lennon barely used him.
Most overused phrase of the season: Succulent lamb. Apparently every Scottish journalist ever has enjoyed fine cuisine at David Murray's side. Do me a favour. Having said that...
Golden toilet roll for quality brown nosing: The Scottish media. Their cosying up to the various parties involved in the Rangers saga has been criminal. Duff and Phelps rightly get stick because they are incomers but the likes of the Blue Knights, David Murray and anyone who becomes preferred bidders seem to get off relatively scot free. This accusation can't be aimed at every journalist of course but I think we know who I'm referring to!
Best Performance by a Former Saint: Paul Lambert. Having guided Norwich to back to back promotions he then proceeded to keep them in the Premiership with relative ease. Good work! Special mention goes to Steven McGarry, Billy Mehmet and Ian Ferguson for their work with Perth Glory in Australia.
Chant of the season: "You're going down with the Rangers". Sung by Saints fans to their Hibs counterparts when we beat them at Greenhill Road after the split. Of course that statement proved not to be true - because Hibs stayed up...
Goodbye old friend commemorative plaque: Hugh Murray. All the best Shuggy, it's been a blast.
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