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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Maloney in historic awards double
Shaun Maloney with his two awards
Maloney became a first-team regular under Gordon Strachan
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 23-year-old Scotland forward played a major part in helping Celtic win the Scottish Premier League title.

And, on receiving his awards, he said: "It's not been done before, so it's a big honour and I feel quite proud.

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

Maloney beat his team-mate, Stilian Petrov, Rangers striker Kris Boyd and Hearts midfielder Rudi Skacel to the main award.

Boyd, Rangers winger Chris Burke and Kilmarnock striker Steven Naismith were his main opponents for the young player title.
It's been a tremendous season for the team
Shaun Maloney

Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon had been the football writers' player of the year, with Naismith taking their young player accolade.

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

"Individually, they've all had great seasons," he said at the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association awards dinner at Glasgow's Thistle Hotel.

"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 had been unsure whether he would still have a future at Celtic when Gordon Strachan took charge last summer but gives his team manager great credit for his own form this season.

"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.

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


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