Jamie McGonigle has been named SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month for April.

The 26-year-old Derry City striker, who was signed from Crusaders last June, currently tops the Premier Division scoring charts with nine for the season.

He hit five goals in April, including a hat-trick against UCD, as the Candystripes went toe-to-toe with defending champions Shamrock Rovers in the title race.

"I'm delighted to win," McGonigle said.

"It’s good recognition for the month that I’ve had and the goals that I’ve scored. Some of the nominees that were there, the quality of players, I am delighted it was me who was selected.

"The hat-trick against UCD helped massively as I was on a drought. It’s not that I wasn’t playing well but I just wasn’t scoring goals so that gave me my confidence back. I then got another two against St Pat’s the following week.

"I always set myself a target for 20 goals and I’m on nine from 14 games at the moment so I am on target to hit that 20."

McGonigle is the first Derry City player to claim the monthly award since Barry McNamee back in April 2013.

"I knew about it [the stat], but that wasn’t something I was worried about," he added.

"I was just trying to concentrate on my game. Thankfully, I’ve won this time and hopefully it’s not the last."

Andy Lyons of Shamrock Rovers finished second in the voting, with McGonigle’s team-mate Will Patching third.

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