THE Football League have revealed the three players who are in contention to be named the Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year at The Football League Awards 2014, which takes place this Sunday, 16th March, at The Brewery, London.
The Sky Bet Player of the Year awards have been voted for by managers of the clubs in each division. Each manager was asked to list their top five players from this season in order, with the scores added up to get a shortlist and an overall winner.
The nominees for this year's award all line-up in the middle of the park – Brentford’s Adam Forshaw, Kevin McDonald of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Swindon Town’s Alex Pritchard.
The Football League Awards honour achievements, both on and off the pitch, across The League's 72 clubs, rewarding players, clubs and fans in 13 categories, which include the Family Club of the Year, Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year, Capital One Supporter of the Year and the Tokio Marine Unsung Hero award.
On the pitch, the League Football Education Apprentice of the Year will be chosen for each division, as will the Sky Bet Player of the Year, while the Young Player of the Year and the Mitre Goal of the Year will also be chosen.
Supporters will get a front row seat for Sunday’s Awards with live coverage of the ceremony being broadcast to a global online audience on multiple channels. Fans can watch all the action unfold by heading to FLAwards.com, The Football League's official YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as the 72 Football League club websites and their official YouTube channels. There will also be a variety of live online partners taking the event to fans around the world.
In total, 33 clubs have been nominated so far, with Championship side Derby County leading the way with four nominations, while a further 12 clubs have been nominated twice.
Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year shortlist and nominee information:
Adam Forshaw (Brentford)
Forshaw had a bright 2012/13 but this season he has pushed on to become one of the mainstays of Brentford’s bid to win promotion from Sky Bet League 1. The 22-year-old midfielder is an imposing player in the middle of the park for the Bees and helps knit things together well for Mark Warburton’s men, while also taking on extra responsibility as Brentford’s penalty-taker – four of his seven goals this season have come from the spot. The former Everton man is well regarded at Griffin Park by colleagues and supporters alike for his good attitude and consistent performances.
Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Wolves moved for Scottish midfielder McDonald in August 2013 when they were starting their Sky Bet League 1 campaign, and have been rewarded for their purchase with a series of outstanding performances from day one. McDonald adds composure on the ball and hasn’t just helped Wolves stabilise after successive relegations, he has been a big part of their push for an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship. The 25-year-old isn’t a prolific goalscorer but when he does find the back of the net there is only one outcome – Kenny Jackett’s men have won each game in which he has scored for them.
Alex Pritchard (Swindon Town)
You might call Alex Pritchard something of a lucky omen for Swindon Town this season as whenever he has scored for the Robins – he has netted seven times – they've avoided defeat, a sequence that also includes a Capital One Cup victory at Sky Bet Championship side Queens Park Rangers. But to define the 20-year-old in that way would be doing him a disservice given the high level of performances he has been putting in on a regular basis for Swindon since joining on loan for the season from Tottenham Hotspur. Pritchard has taken his first run of consistent matches in his stride with his goals and assists marking him out as one of League 1’s stand-out players for the season.
2013: Matt Ritchie (AFC Bournemouth)
2012: Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town)
2011: Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough United)
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com.