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Last Updated: Friday, 14 April 2006, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Naismith young player of the year
Kilmarnock striker Steven Naismith
Steven Naismith has scored 12 times this season
Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies says striker Steven Naismith fully deserved to be named young player of the year by Scotland's football writers.

Jefferies just lost out to Celtic's Gordon Strachan as boss of the year.

But the manager said of the 19-year-old: "I would rather he got the award than myself.

"I know there were one or two who were worthy contenders, but I think he was the unanimous choice and he is a fantastic prospect."

Jefferies explained that he had looked to nurture his young talent.

"He burst on the scene last year and he looked a terrific prospect, but we handled him quite well and didn't play him in too many games," he said.

"He was a young player just coming in and that's all part and parcel of how to handle young players.

"You can see it's benefited him because this year he has come on to the scene stronger and with no confidence problems.

"He has done extremely well and has played a major part in the club's success this year."

Naismith has scored 12 goals this season, helping Kilmarnock challenge for a Uefa Cup qualification spot in the Scottish Premier League.

Links to more Kilmarnock stories



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