Defender's memorable year continuesConor McLaughlin was crowned League Two’s Player of the Year at the North West Football Awards on Tuesday evening.
Some famous faces in footballing circles were present to see the Northern Ireland international receive his award at the event which was held in Manchester at Lancashire CC, Old Trafford.
McLaughlin faced competition from Bury’s Danny Mayor and Rochdale’s Ian Henderson for the award, however his sterling performances at right back during the 2013/14 season meant the Town man got the judges votes.
It has been an unbelievable year for the defender, who celebrated play-off success with the Cod Army at Wembley, before going on to establish himself in Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland side during what has been an impressive start to their campaign.
Speaking at the awards, McLaughlin was delighted to have been recognised: “It’s an amazing honour but a just reward as to how well the team played last season.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind really and I haven’t had much time to take it in. From promotion at Wembley to playing in European qualifiers has been unbelievable.
“The day at Wembley is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Every player wants to play there, especially now at the new Wembley.”
McLaughlin has started all four of his country’s qualifying games so far this campaign, which saw them win three on the bounce before defeat in Romania last week.
“Not many people were expecting us to do this well so far, and it’s been tough to keep everyone’s expectations down, but losing to Romania probably did that a little bit.
“It’s been tough but the lads have done well and hopefully we can continue that.
“I need to keep on doing what I’m doing and hopefully things will take care of themselves. If I keep playing and getting selected for the National team then it’ll be great.
“It’s hard not to think about the Euro’s as it’s a massive incentive to get to France. It’ll be unbelievable if we did but there’s a lot of football to be played yet.”