The winners of the Sky Bet EFL Player of the Month Awards for September are:
Sky Bet Championship: Ben Brereton-Diaz (Blackburn Rovers)
Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton-Diaz has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for September.
A summer away with Chile appears to have given Brereton Diaz the missing piece to his game. Six goals, including a hat-trick against Cardiff, and an assist were claimed with a willingness to beat defenders and add a flourish to his finishing.
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray said: “Ben’s contribution last month, and during the start to the season as a whole, has been a real bonus to the team, especially with the loss of Adam Armstrong and Harvey Elliott, who scored the bulk of the goals for us last season.
“Somebody needed to step up and I think Ben Brereton has done just that. We haven’t altered his position, he’s not playing right down the middle, he’s coming in off the left-hand side and he’s shown how potent he can be by coming in onto his right foot and getting in the six-yard box and scoring lots of different types of goals.
“He’s scored some headers, he’s bent a few in on his right foot, he’s scored some tap-ins, he’s scored some penalties, he’s done very well and hopefully when he returns from the international break he can keep it going.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “More players may well be checking their family trees for whatever heritage they can find at this rate, such is the form Ben Brereton Diaz has found since making his international debut for Chile!
“Never previously considered a prolific goal threat, he’s added a ruthless streak to his game this season, contributing to Blackburn’s overall assault on the Championship with six goals in September.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Chilean Striker Brereton Diaz was in red hot form during the month of September seeing his odds tumble from 28/1 at the end of August into current 4/1 second-favourite (behind Aleksandar Mitrovic) for the Championship Golden Boot.
“A surprise call up during the summer for Chile in the Copa America, the Blackburn man has hit the ground running since his return and already has scored more Championship goals (10) in the first two months of this season than he managed during the previous three seasons for Rovers!"
Sky Bet League One: Cole Stockton (Morecambe)
Morecambe striker Cole Stockton has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for September.
The 27-year-old is almost unplayable for League One defenders right now. Aggressive, powerful and composed. Among his five goals and an assist were an audacious 40-yard lob against Wimbledon and a lashed shot on the turn against Lincoln.
Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson said: “It is fantastic and he can be very proud of his achievements, five goals in a month and the goal against AFC Wimbledon for me is Goal of the Season already.
“If anyone outside of Morecambe had have scored it or if Ronaldo would have scored it, we would be talking about it for months.
“He has been fantastic for us over the last two months and I don’t think it’s very often that Morecambe would have had a player that has won an award like he has twice in a row.
“Winning it two months in a row just shows his consistency and the levels that he has reached, we have pushed him to stay at those levels and he has done that.
“He has worked very hard on his game, we need him fresh and firing for us, the way he holds the ball up and his all-round play is a big part of what we do as a club.
“This is probably one of the reasons why he has won Player of the Month again, by bringing other players into play and assisting as well as scoring goals.
“I think the only thing he hasn’t scored with yet is his head, but he scores all types of goals from different types of angles.
“I believe that there is a lot more to come from him, I think if he works harder he can get down the sides more - I don’t want to able away from what he is good at, but if we add that to his game, we could have a real, real good player on our hands.
Stockton said: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded this again, like I said on my last interview I have to go out and try to do it again but it is lovely to be recognised.
“I am full of confidence and once you get the first couple of goals off your shoulders it is just about keeping that belief in yourself, and I know I am going to get those chances.
“The step up to League One was always going to be a test but I feel comfortable, I don’t feel out of place at all.
“I have said it in previous interviews I come through at this level, I know it was a long time ago but like I say, no centre-half will like the battles that I will give them.
“Once you have the eye for goal and have that confidence within yourself, it is just about sticking with it and believing in yourself that you are going to score.
“The way we have played this season has been a lot more disciplined than we did last season, but it has brought my game on even further.
“At first it was different, but I have said it a lot over the years that I am always willing to learn and add bits to my game.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Stockton has a 100% strike rate when it comes to being Player of the Month this season, having also picked up the award in August, and you certainly wouldn’t rule out further gongs for the Morecambe attacker at this rate!
“Five goals and an assist were just the tip of the iceberg of Stockton’s domination, as he quickly grows his reputation as one of the most feared players in League One.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Morecambe striker Cole Stockton also continued his red-hot goalscoring form during October with the 27-year-old adding another five to his tally to take him to nine goals on the season and put him out in front by one in the race to be League One’s top marksman.
“The Shrimps’ main man is now 9/1 second-favourite behind Macauley Bonne for that award from 16/1 at the end of August and 50/1 before a ball was kicked, and although Stockton is likely to be a marked man going forward, we think both he and Morecambe can continue to punch above their weight and that he can run into a place come the end of the season.”
Sky Bet League Two: Nicky Cadden (Forest Green Rovers)
Forest Green Rovers winger Nicky Cadden has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for September.
Of Forest Green’s five goals, four of them came courtesy of rampaging Cadden runs down the left, either whipping in crosses at pace or dribbling inside to create havoc. Solid defensively, too, as Rovers didn’t concede a goal all month.
Cadden said: “It’s been a great month for me personally – and I am really delighted with the achievement. We’ve had a great start so far, so hopefully we can keep that going now.
“Our early success has been a team effort. They’re all coming up with some unbelievable stats – so we need to stay level-headed and remain consistent now.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Forest Green remarkably kept their opponents goalless in September and whilst defending is one part of a wing back’s job description, Nicky Cadden also highlighted the offensive side of his game.
“So as well as staying rock solid at the back, Cadden was routinely involved in Rovers’ best attacks throughout the month, contributing four goal involvements and creating general chaos across League Two defences.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Forest Green’s Nicky Cadden impressed during the first month of the season and the left wing back continued his good run of form, assisting three goals in four games.
“The Scot was equally impressive in defence as the vegan-friendly club didn’t concede at all and went unbeaten to finish September top of the table and establish themselves as legitimate title favourites at 5/2 from 8/1 at the start of the month.
“Since the season started we have massively upgraded Rovers in our ratings and we have them firmly as the best team now based on our projections.”
The judging panel for the Sky Bet Player of the Month comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.