Nairn County centre forward Conor Gethins last night became only the third player to retain the Press and Journal Highland League player of the year trophy.
After receiving his trophy from Aberdeen Journals editor-in-chief, Damian Bates, at last night’s annual end of season awards ceremony at Nairn’s Newton Hotel, the 30-year-old Irishman said: “It was tremendous to win this award last season, but to win it for the second year in a row is just fantastic.
“It is a real honour for me, even more so as it was other Highland League players who voted for me.
“I have to thank my team-mates, especially Robbie Duncanson who I play up front with.
“I certainly couldn’t have won this award again without my team-mates’ support.
“I must also thank each and every one of my fellow Highland League players who voted for me.”
Gethins is following in impressive footsteps. Fraserburgh midfielder Michael Stephen lifted the silverware for an unprecedented third time in four years when he took the 2004-2005 award, and Cammy Keith, then with Keith, secured back-to-back triumphs in 2011 and 2012.
The manager of the year award went to Davie Kirkwood who led Brora Rangers to a first title, 50-years after the Sutherland club joined the Highland League in 1964.
The former Rangers, Hearts, Airdrie, Raith Rovers and East Fife midfielder said: “I am delighted to have won this trophy. I would like to thank my backroom staff and especially a great group of players, without their continued support throughout the season this would never have happened.
“I also have to play tribute to our long-serving chairman John Young, our board and committee, the Brora supporters, and, of course, our club sponsor, Ben MacKay for his generous support, not forgetting the other managers who voted for me.”
Brora’s Steven Mackay picked up the silverware for the most league goals during the season, 36, while the fair play award went to Keith.