Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Gavin Whyte scoops Player of the Year double at NI Football Awards

By Gareth Hanna

Gavin Whyte has been named Danske Bank Player of the Year and Dream Spanish Homes Young Player of the Year at the NI Football Awards.

The highly-rated Crusaders winger, tipped for a move to Leeds United this summer, adds the awards to the Ulster Footballer of the Year gong he picked up last month.

Whyte netted 21 goals in the Danske Bank Premiership this season and earned rave reviews, torturing defences with his trademark direct runs.

The young star has also been capped at Under-21 level for Northern Ireland and spent time on trial with Celtic and Everton.

He took centre stage during Northern Ireland U21s' thrilling 5-3 defeat to Spain at Shamrock Park. He gave Espanyol's regular left-back Aaron Martin a torrid evening that included two nutmegs and showed he has the ability to cause problems at a level beyond the local game.

Also nominated for Player of the Year were Crusaders right-back BJ Burns and Coleraine defender Stephen O'Donnell.

Providing the competition for the Young Player of the Year award were Glenavon's Bobby Burns, who is set for a move to Hearts, and Coleraine goal-scorer Jamie McGonigle.

Cliftonville's Joe Gormley lifted the Golden Boot while The Jordan's Gift Goal of the Season award went to BJ Burns for this stunning strike against Linfield.

Named as Travel Solutions International Personality of the Year was Northern Ireland and West Brom defender Jonny Evans.

Jimmy Nicholl was inducted into the Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame.

Institute's Michael McCrudden was named Sodexo Championship Player of the Year, seeing off competition from Chris Lavery and Mark McCabe.

There was double delight, meanwhile, for Dundela, who were named Non-Senior Club of the Year while their striker Jordan Hughes picked up Premier Intermediate League Player of the Year.

The NI Football Awards are hosted by the Northern Ireland Football Writers' Association and the Northern Ireland Football League.

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