Neal and Paul among the contenders for January awards
Neal Ardley and Paul McCallum have both been nominated for npower League 2 awards after Wimbledon’s unbeaten run during January.
Football League sponsors npower have revealed the nominations for both the npower League 2 Manager and Player of the Month Awards for January. The winners will be announced on Friday, 15th February 2013, with the final decision being made by two separate Football League judging panels.
The Manager of the Month award is decided by former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Deputy CEO Olaf Dixon and npower Partnerships and Sponsorship Manager Katy Thomas. The Player of the Month panel sees Katy Thomas joined by Wolves legend Don Goodman, BBC Sport’s Mark Clemmit and The Football League’s Head of Communications, John Nagle.
The nominations for the npower League 2 Manager of the Month Award for January are:
Martin Allen (Gillingham)
Although losing to fellow title chasers Port Vale may have tarnished January for some Gills fans, it was an otherwise impressive month for Martin Allen's outfit. Two solid away wins at Bristol Rovers and Southend United, coupled with a draw and a win against York City and Northampton Town ensured that Gillingham finished January at the summit of npower League 2 and ensured that promotion is still a likely outcome come May.
Neal Ardley (AFC Wimbledon)
Struggling AFC Wimbledon have a real fight on their hands to avoid relegation this season, but an undefeated January showed that Neil Ardley's men are up for the challenge. Two vital away victories against Rochdale and Torquay United were followed by draws against Wycombe Wanderers and Port Vale meaning that, although The Dons were still languishing in the relegation zone at the end of the month, there is real hope at Kingsmeadow.
John Ward (Bristol Rovers)
Given the impressive form of their relegation rivals, the three league wins out of four under new manager John Ward were all the sweeter for struggling Bristol Rovers. A vital home win against Plymouth Argyle was followed with two comprehensive away wins at Fleetwood Town and Rotherham United. The victory at the latter, lifted The Pirates off the bottom of npower League 2 and they will enter February with renewed confidence of avoiding the drop.
The nominations for the npower League 2 Player of the Month Award for January are:
Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) – midfielder
The supplier of many of his side’s goals in their four wins with his crossing ability, both at pace and from dead ball situations. Difficult to contain and scored twice himself as Northampton Town moved into the top three in npower League 2.
Paul McCallum (AFC Wimbledon) - striker
Four goals in four January games for the 19-year-old loanee (pictured above) from West Ham. All of them were important goals, including the winner at Rochdale. His strength to hold off defenders and positional sense in the area were particularly notable.
Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) – central defender
Outstanding in the month in which he turned 21. Given the captain’s armband, he led the way in the Rovers’ revival, standing up to tackles, especially in the wins at Fleetwood Town and Rotherham United, and impressing with his distribution from the back.
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