Football - McGinn sets sights on next season

PFA Scotland player of the year candidate Niall McGinn claims he's enjoying the best season of his career - but it is next term that has got him really excited.

PA Sport
Football - McGinn sets sights on next season

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Niall McGinn's 19 goals this season have put him in contention for the end-of-season prize

The 19 goals the Dons frontman has scored this season have put him in contention for the end-of-season prize.

The Northern Irishman will now go head to head with Motherwell's Michael Higdon, Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths and Andrew Shinnie of Inverness for the award.

Should he win, McGinn will have former Dons boss Craig Brown to thank after transforming him from an inconsistent winger into one of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League's top finishers, but McGinn says it is the thought of working with Brown's successor at Pittodrie, Derek McInnes, that has really got his juices flowing.

He said: "I think it's going to be a great season next year. Derek's brought in new, fresh ideas. Training has been very good, very intense, and I've loved working under him so far.

"We're getting excited for next season but we know ourselves we've got to play out the remainder of the season and try to go on a run and win our games

"Players are out of contract and want to impress the new manager as well. I'm definitely looking forward to next season as well. We know ourselves we are definitely capable of getting into the top six and there's no reason why we shouldn't be in the top six next season."

Griffiths could join former Celtic attackers Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady by winning both the senior award and the prize for young player of the year in the same season after being handed two nominations.

However, he is up against Hoops midfielder Victor Wanyama as well as Dundee United pair Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven in the junior category. The Tannadice pair have already got a wager running on which of them will land the award - but Mackay-Steven insists the smart money will be on his team-mate.

"Stuart and I have got a wee competition going on - we've even got bets on it," he joked. "We can't vote for players from our own team but if I could, he'd definitely have been my pick because he's had an unbelievable season."

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