The Football League have announced the three-man shortlist for the Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year award, with the winner to be announced on Sunday at the 10th annual Football League Awards.The Sky Bet Player of the Year awards have been voted for by managers of the clubs in each division. Each manager was asked to list their top five players from this season in order, with the scores added up to get a shortlist and an overall winner.
This nominees for this year's award, as voted for by Sky Bet League 1 managers, are Dele Alli (Milton Keynes Dons), Luke Freeman (Bristol City) and Joe Garner (Preston North End).
The Football League Awards celebrates on and off pitch excellence across The League's 72 clubs, rewarding players, clubs and fans. To tie in with the 10th anniversary, this year there are a total of 10 categories. The shortlist for the Sky Bet Players of the Year in the Championship will be announced on Friday. Other categories include the Family Club of the Year, Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year, PFA Player in the Community, Capital One Supporter of the Year, the Mitre Goal of the Year, LFE Apprentice of the Year and the Sir Tom Finney Award.
Alongside these there will be two special categories to mark the 10th anniversary of the event – the Tokio Marine Club Hero Award recognising a member of staff at each of the 72 Football League clubs, and the Football Manager Team of the Decade with 11 selected players and a manager selected based on performances from the past 10 seasons.
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday 19th April 2015.
Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year shortlist and nominee information:
Dele Alli (Milton Keynes Dons)
The 19-year-old has had a sensational season in midfield for Milton Keynes Dons. His 15 goals, including a hat-trick in a 6-1 win at Crewe Alexandra in September have been crucial to the Dons’ promotion challenge in Sky Bet League 1. Also in contention for the Football League Young Player of the Year award, Dele is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in The Football League – talent that helped him secure a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in January before being loaned back to the Dons.
Luke Freeman (Bristol City)
Luke has been a stand-out player in a stand-out side this season, playing a major part in Bristol City’s promotion from Sky Bet League 1. Signed from Stevenage in the summer, the forward is the playmaker of the side and has established himself as a fans' favourite at Ashton Gate. Luke is the go-to man for assists, and his creativity and expertise from set pieces have been evident for the Robins throughout the campaign.
Joe Garner (Preston North End)
Joe has been riding high in the goal-scoring standings in Sky Bet League 1 all season, reaching the 20-goal milestone with games to spare, to spearhead Preston’s push for promotion. Already a favourite at Deepdale after his stunning strike against Rotherham United in last season’s Play-Offs, he has been prolific this term, with the highlights being a hat-trick against Fleetwood Town in October, and four goals in a 5-1 win at home to Crewe Alexandra in March.
2014: Adam Forshaw (Brentford)
2013: Matt Ritchie (Swindon Town/AFC Bournemouth)
2012: Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town)
2011: Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough United)
2010: Jermaine Beckford (Leeds United)
2009: Matt Fryatt (Leicester City)
2008: Jermaine Beckford (Leeds United)
2007: Billy Sharp (Scunthorpe United)
2006: Lee Trundle (Swansea City)