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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 30, 2006

Maloney makes history with double award honour

Shaun Maloney has become the first player to be named both Player and Young Player of the Year by his fellow professionals in Scotland.

The Celtic striker, 23, has enjoyed a phenomenal season and played a major part in helping the club to the Bank of Scotland Premier League title.

Those performances earned him nominations in both categories and he wrote himself into the history books by picking up both awards at a ceremony at Glasgow's Thistle hotel.

'It's not been done before so it's a big honour and I feel quite proud,' said Maloney.

'I only found out today that I had won the young player award as well.

'There is no better accolade than to be voted for by your peers and it does mean a lot to me.

'It's been a tremendous season for the team and I just feel privileged to be part of that team.'

Maloney was up against Celtic team-mate Stilian Petrov, as well as Rangers striker Kris Boyd and Rudi Skacel of Hearts for the Digby Brown SPFA Player of the Year Award.

Boyd was also a rival in the younger category, along with Chris Burke of Rangers and Kilmarnock's Steven Naismith.

Maloney was surprised to come out on top against such strong competition this year.

'Individually, they've all had great seasons,' he said. 'When you play against them, you can see what great players they are.

'It just makes it even more of an honour when you look at the players I was up against.

'I've got a lot of time and respect for these players and it makes it all the more special.'

Maloney was unsure whether he would still have a future at Celtic when Gordon Strachan arrived last summer but he insists the Parkhead boss has played a big part in his success this term.

'At the start of the season I didn't know what was happening and he gave me the opportunity to play,' he said.

'If I played well, he would stick with me. If not, I'd be straight back out the team.

'But, as a manager, I've got a lot to thank him for this season.'