Date: 12th April 2007 at 11:35pm
Written by:

Russell Anderson will be the only Scotsman in the final shortlist of four for this year`s Scottish Professional Footballers` Associations` Player of the Year Award and the only player currently not on League Champions in waiting Celtic`s books.

Russell will be up against England hopeful Lee Naylor, free kick taker extraordinaire (but often said not much else) Shunsuke Nakamura and the man who has kept everything possible out his goal this season (except an Ugo Ehiogu effort when he decided to try and be a bit too flash and let in a goal that would have really given Aberdeen a break had he kept his usual consistency and easily dealt with the effort), Artur Boruc.

It`s regarded by many as the most prestigious personal prize to win as it`s actually the guys on the park who vote. Unremarkably, the Dons captain is very pleased to be down to the last cut but is naturally modest and humble and realises his performances would not be so high without the trust, belief and abilities of the men he leads out each week.

Rusty said ‘While it’s nice to be nominated for such a prestigious award, it’s as much a reflection of how the team has performed this season”.

‘That said, when it’s your peers who are undertaking the voting it means that little bit more and naturally I am delighted.’

Russell would be joining the elite group of only five Aberdeen players in Mark McGhee, Charlie Nicholas, Willie Miller, Theo Snelders and Jim Bett to have won the SPFA Player of the Year Award title and the prize has been monopolized by Rangers and Celtic stars since Bett`s victory in 1990.

Good luck to Russell, he deserves to be in with the best of them and with his fellow professionals acknowledging his excellent season, let`s hope international recognition can be his reward which I`m sure he`d desire as much as any trophy no matter how esteemed.

Fortunately and hopefully significantly, the youth award is a complete readdress of the 3 to 1 foreigner to Scot ratio with only Aiden McGeady ineligible for Scotland honours, having chose to play for the Republic of Ireland.

He faces a tough time in securing the trophy however as he will be up against the much sought after Scott Brown of Hibs, Steven Naismith of Kilmarnock and another free kick specialist in Rangers` Charlie Adam.

ood luck to all who are nominated, we`ll post the results after they are announced on April 22nd.

Below is a complete winners list of the SPFA Player of the Year award since it was introduced in 1978.

? 1978: Derek Johnstone (Rangers)

1979: Paul Hegarty (Dundee United)

1980: Davie Provan (Celtic)

1981: Mark McGhee (Aberdeen)

1982: Sandy Clark (Airdrieonians)

1983: Charlie Nicholas {Celtic}

1984: Willie Miller (Aberdeen)

1985: Jim Duffy (Morton)

1986: Richard Gough (Dundee United)

1987: Brian McClair (Celtic)

1988: Paul McStay (Celtic)

1989: Theo Snelders (Aberdeen)

1990: Jim Bett (Aberdeen)

1991: Paul Elliott (Celtic)

1992: Ally McCoist (Rangers)

1993: Andy Goram (Rangers)

1994: Mark Hateley (Rangers)

1995: Brian Laudrup (Rangers)

1996: Paul Gascoigne (Rangers)

1997: Paolo Di Canio (Celtic)

1998: Jackie McNamara (Celtic)

1999: Henrik Larsson (Celtic)

2000: Mark Viduka (Celtic)

2001: Henrik Larsson (Celtic)

2002: Lorenzo Amoruso (Rangers)

2003: Barry Ferguson (Rangers)

2004: Chris Sutton (Celtic)

2005: Fernando Ricksen (Rangers) and John Hartson (Celtic)

2006: Shaun Maloney (Celtic)

Scottish Young Players Player Of The Year Award Winners.

* 1978: Graeme Payne (Dundee United)

* 1979: Ray Stewart (Dundee United)

* 1980: John MacDonald (Rangers)

* 1981: Charlie Nicholas (Celtic)

* 1982: Frank McAvennie (St Mirren)

* 1983: Paul McStay (Celtic}

* 1984: John Robertson (Hearts)

* 1985: Craig Levein (Hearts)

* 1986: Craig Levein (Hearts)

* 1987: Robert Fleck (Rangers)

* 1988: John Collins (Hibernian)

* 1989: Billy McKinlay (Dundee United)

* 1990: Scott Crabbe (Hearts)

* 1991: Eoin Jess (Aberdeen)

* 1992: Phil O’Donnell (Motherwell)

* 1993: Eoin Jess (Aberdeen)

* 1994: Phil O’Donnell (Motherwell)

* 1995: Charlie Miller (Rangers)

* 1996: Jackie McNamara (Celtic)

* 1997: Robbie Winters (Dundee United)

* 1998: Gary Naysmith (Hearts)

* 1999: Barry Ferguson (Rangers)

* 2000: Kenny Miller (Hibernian)

* 2001: Stilian Petrov (Celtic)

* 2002: Kevin McNaughton (Aberdeen)

* 2003: James McFadden (Motherwell)

* 2004: Stephen Pearson (Celtic)

* 2005: Derek Riordan (Hibernian)

* 2006: Shaun Maloney (Celtic)