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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Nakamura takes top player award
Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura
Nakamura has enjoyed a great season with Celtic
Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura completed an unforgettable day by being named the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

The award came just hours after the Japanese star had scored the goal that clinched the SPL title for his club.

Nakamura's Celtic team-mates Artur Boruc and Lee Naylor were on the shortlist of nominees, along with Aberdeen skipper Russell Anderson.

Celtic's Gordon Strachan picked up the inaugural manager of the year prize.

Strachan has steered Celtic to a successful defence of their SPL title, reached the last 16 of the Champions League and has a Scottish Cup final to look forward to.

Japanese playmaker Nakamura has been a key player for Scotland's dominant side and Sunday's match-winning strike was his 10th goal of the season.

Nakamura, who is in his second season in Scotland since his 2.5m transfer from Italian club Reggina, said: "I'm very pleased but this isn't something you can get on your own - it's down to the whole team and also the supporters.

I'm a bit shocked but delighted

Steven Naismith

"All the players deserved to get this award. For example, a player like Neil Lennon is not really in the limelight but he is so important in the background and without players like him we wouldn't have our style of play."

Nakamura also won Goal of the Season for his cheeky lob against Dundee United on Boxing Day, which earned Celtic a 2-2 draw.

However, Celtic were denied a cleansweep when Aiden McGeady was beaten to the Young Player of the Year by Kilmarnock striker Steven Naismith.

Naismith, 20, picked up the same award from the Scottish Football Writers last year and was thrilled to complete a personal double.

"I'm a bit shocked but delighted," he said. "I said when I won the award last year that I didn't want to be remembered as a one-hit wonder and hopefully I've shown this season that I can still hold my own."

Other winners on the night were: Colin McMenamin (First Division Player of the Year); Iain Russell (Second Division Player of the Year); Scott Chaplain (Third Division Player of the Year); Falkirk (Community Club of the Year); Eusebio (Special Merit Award).


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