Date: 21st January 2023
SFSA NEWS RELEASE
A YEAR THAT SAW WOMEN’S FOOTBALL GROW MORE THAN EVER IS REFLECTED IN NATIONAL FANS AWARDS
A year that saw football fans fully return to stadiums after the rollercoaster of the pandemic proved to be one of mixed feelings for the Scotland Men’s and Women’s National teams. The Men’s team looked to push on after competing at Euro 2020 and qualify for the Qatar World Cup being held at the end of the year but were left disappointed after an underwhelming performance against Ukraine in the play-off semi-final. However, a brilliant run in the group stage of the Nations League saw them promoted to League A, securing a Euro 2024 play-off spot and ensuring they ended 2022 on a positive note.
Additionally, while a restructuring of the women’s game in Scotland took place in 2022, giving responsibility of the Women’s Premier League to the SPFL hoping it can help boost the game, the Women’s National team had mixed performances, failing to qualify for the 2023 World Cup after a crushing play-off final defeat despite showing promising signs throughout a positive qualifying campaign. Despite this, 2022 has been a year where women’s football has exploded across the World, with Scotland being no exception and this being reflected in our National Fans Awards where we have had more female winners than ever before.
There is no surprise that fan’s favourite and winner of the award in both 2021 and 2019 John McGinn once again has picked up Men’s Player of the Year. Another brilliant year for the Aston Villa man, scoring 4 goals in a Scotland shirt across all competitions, and captaining the side throughout most of the year. Steve Clarke also came close to picking up his third SFSA Fans Award, however was beaten by Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou whose side bounced back from a disappointing 2021 and re-established themselves at the top of the Premiership.
Erin Cuthbert has once again this year been voted as Women’s Player of the Year making it three in a row for the Chelsea star who was part of the side that won the Women’s Super League and scored in their FA Cup final win vs Manchester City, and what a goal it was. Erin’s Scotland teammate Caroline Weir has been voted as the very first winner of our Worldwide Scot Award, an award that was created to recognise the best of the many Scottish players applying their trade overseas this year. Weir has had another fantastic year firstly with Manchester City before moving to Real Madrid in the summer, where she has already scored 13 goals in 21 games this season.
In continuing the female success in this year’s awards, Rose Reilly has become the first woman to be inducted into the Fans Hall of Fame after being voted for the Lifetime Achievement Award, joining the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Kenny Dalglish.
This year we have decided to award two winners with our Special Achievement Award. Firstly, Fans Supporting Foodbanks for their incredible work, urging supporters of teams all over Scotland to get involved by starting up their own local branches and arranging matchday collections of goods for food banks and community larders. Additionally, we have also awarded Hibernian and Dnipro Kids the award, after Hibs supporter and founder of the charity Stevie Carr, played a key role in evacuating over 50 children out of Ukraine into safety. Since fleeing Ukraine, the youngsters travelled across the continent before safely arriving and starting new lives in Scotland, with several of them making a special appearance at Easter Road for Hibs final home game of last season.
Finally, our Fan of the Year for 2022 is Partick Thistle FC fan Sandy Fyfe. Sandy is the chair of the Jags Foundation and has played a key part in the journey of the club towards Community Ownership. Through difficult and turbulent times Sandy led the Jags Foundation in a campaign that will see genuine fan ownership realised and has united many stakeholders in the club in working together for a shared future. His role has been recognised by not just Partick Thistle fans but also by fans of other clubs as he stood firm to ensure that fans were properly considered. As one contributor said, “He deserves the Award as he played a blinder for the fans”.
SFSA Project Manager, Scott Masson said: “Firstly I would like to congratulate all of the winners on their awards, and their successes over 2022. It’s been brilliant to see football back to its best after the struggles of the pandemic, with the fans being at the heart of that as they returned in full after what felt like so long being away. We at the SFSA are thrilled to bring another set of Fans Awards in a year which proved to be huge for the women’s game, and this was reflected in the awards where we have had more female winners than ever before. We hope that this will only continue, and the women’s game will progress further with the new restructure of the leagues in Scotland.”
For further information, please contact SFSA Project Manager Scott Masson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SFSA is Scotland’s only fully independent supporters’ organisation, open to fans from all clubs at all levels of our national game. A non-profit voluntary organisation and a community interest company with 76,000 members, the SFSA works with fans, clubs, football authorities and the Scottish Government to make Scottish football better for everyone, with supporters at the very heart of it.
(See SFSA website for more information: (https://scottishfsa.org/about-sfsa/)
The awards in full:
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