The Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month award for April has been presented to Derry City striker Barry McNamee.
The second recipient of the 2013 Airtricity League season is from Ramelton in Donegal and only debuted in the Premier Division in April of last year, having come through the youth set-up.
McNamee pipped team-mate Ger Doherty and St Pat's midfielder Greg Bolger to the prize.
He scored three goals in five games in April.
"I don’t think this award is really about me, it’s about how well the team has done so far” - Barry McNamee
The first day of April saw Derry beat Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell, but the pick of the month's results arrived in the form of a 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers.
“The club has done really well in the early part of the season and we want to keep that going. I suppose winning the Player of the Month is just recognition for how well the team has done”, said McNamee.
“I’ve won awards before, like player of the year for my junior clubs, but nothing as big as this. But I don’t think this award is really about me, it’s about how well the team has done so far.”
The 21-year-old spent a trial period with English Championship side Nottingham Forest before Christmas, and it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last bit of cross-channel interest in the Derry ace.
For now though, McNamee is focused on domestic affairs, with two of Derry’s next three games away from, beginning at Drogheda United on Friday night before a League Cup derby against Finn Harps.
After that, Cork City visit Derry in the third last series of games this side of the summer break, with Derry currently well placed in second spot right behind Sligo.
"I thought that I would do well this season, but I certainly didn’t think it would go this well," McNamee admitted.
"But now, as a team, we have to push on and try to keep picking up positive results.
“It’s up to us to push Sligo all the way. I think everyone knows that Sligo and St Pat’s are going to be up there challenging, but [Shamrock] Rovers proved their quality in the Setanta Cup final.
“Everyone needs to keep an eye on everyone else. Last year, it went down to the last two or three days in the season, and I don’t think anyone is going to run away with the league this year.”