Dean Shiels named Manager of the Month

Dungannon Swifts manager Dean Shiels is the Aktivora Manager of the Month for January.

By Sports Desk
Sunday, 6th February 2022, 11:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th February 2022, 11:02 pm

The former Rangers and Northern Ireland player guided the Swifts to league victories over Warrenpoint Town, Larne, Portadown and Carrick Rangers.

He’s only the second man from the Stangmore Park club to win the prestigious monthly prize.

He said: “To get the Manager of the Month award is brilliant for me but I have to give total credit to the staff and especially the playing staff, they're the ones on the pitch, they're the ones doing the business for us.

Dungannon Swifts boss Dean Shiels collects the Aktivora Manager of the Month award

“Each week our team is averaging an age of 21, we have good staff in Tony Gorman, Terry Fitzpatrick and Dwayne Nelson, we're very tight knit, the physio, the kit man it's a big effort from everyone.

“It was a big month for us. What started it was the 2-0 win over Knockbreda in the Irish Cup. We used that momentum to go to Warrenpoint. We won at Warrenpoint and took it from there.

“It was a brilliant month for us, and the lads deserve a lot of credit for their effort because there were Saturday-Tuesday weeks in there which is tough going on the squad. It was a collective effort.”

Meanwhile, it was a double celebration for Jamie McDonagh.

The Cliftonville star has won both the Danske Bank Player of the Month award and NIFWA’s Goal of the Month competition.

In January, McDonagh scored five goals as the Reds maintained their challenge in both the Danske Bank Premiership and the Samuel Gelston’s Irish Cup

He said: “It's a very proud moment for me, I'm very happy to win my first Player of the Month award from the Football Writers and Danske Bank.

"I couldn't have done it without my teammates and every game I play Paddy McLaughlin fills me with confidence.

"It's great to show the league how well I can play. I want to keep improving and try and help the team as much as I can.”

Jamie also won the NIFWA Goal of the Month prize for his spectacular strike against Ballymena United, the first goal in a stunning brace.

McDonagh said: “It's great to win Goal of the Month too. I think it was the second-best goal I've ever scored, the first was the Goal of the Season from last year.

"Since Conor McDermott came in at right back it's given me a bit more freedom to go forward and go inside.

"I had only scored one goal before the new year and in January I got five so it's paying off.

"A lot of it is down to the style of football we're playing as a team but also the freedom Paddy has given me to play with. I just wish I could have scored three against Ballymena to get the win."

Dungannon Swifts man Darragh McBrien was runner-up, with Crusaders defender Josh Robinson in third.