Back midfielder crowned Lewis and Harris Player of the Year

Back midfielder Martin Maclean has become the first player outwith Lochs FC to be crowned Lewis and Harris Player of the Year since 2004.
Back midfielder Martin Maclean has become the first player outwith Lochs FC to be crowned Lewis and Harris Player of the Year since 2004.

MARTIN MACLEAN clutched the Vic Flower Trophy and smiled as he read through the list of names etched onto the silverware over the past 30-odd years.

Just one month after his club Back FC tore Lochs’ Maroon ribbons off the Lewis and Harris League trophy, midfield kid Martin Maclean has followed suit by being named Player of the Year thus ending Lochs’ six-year iron grip on the trophy.

Remarkably no-one outwith Lochs has taken the top prize since 2004 but now the Back midfielder’s name will be forever listed amongst some of local football’s most illustrious.

Maclean was the big winner at the end of season awards at which he and his team mates were also presented with their league title medals after winning their first championship in 11-years.

But while the 20-year-old admits it has been a campaign to remember he is already looking ahead to next season.

“I wasn’t expecting to win but I was hopeful,” explained Maclean. “It is always nice to win personal awards but they are the kind of things you never expect and you can’t let yourself get your hopes up too much.

“I was up against some very good players on the shortlist and looking at the trophy the Lochs boys have dominated it for a long time so it is nice to see a Back name going on it again.

“There are a lot of good players on the list and in the past few years Andy Murray, David Macmillan and Peter Mackenzie have all won it so I’m in good company with these kind of boys.”

He continued: “I’d love to keep it and win it again next year but awards for the team are always far more important and have to be the priority for us all. Anything which comes after that is fine but the team comes first.

“The boys are already looking forward to next season and if we can keep the squad together we all feel we can push on again although I expect there will be plenty challengers trying to stop us too.Runner-up for the Player of the Year trophy was Aths’ goal-machine Scott Maciver who completed a hat-trick of runners-up places for the top prize. Maciver was also presented with the trophy for Top Goalscorer in the Lewis and Harris League for the fourth time.

Goalkeeper of the Year was United No 1 Martin McPhee who was rewarded for a consistent season inbetween the sticks for the ever-improving Stornoway side.

And the Under-21 prize went to Ness’ Andrew Macleod. The teenager got the nod after a stunning season for the Fivepenny club and one in which he has broken into, and become a regular starter, for the Lewis and Harris Select.