IT JUST KEEPS getting better for James McClean. Days after getting his Euro 2012 golden ticket from Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, the Derry native has been named as Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year for 2011/2012.
McClean, 23, came out on top of the end of season fan vote, beating fellow midfielder Jack Colback to cap a remarkable few months with the Black Cats.
Signed from Derry City last August, the winger was handed his Premier League debut in Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge after the dismissal of Steve Bruce, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 win against Blackburn in December.
He went on to make 28 first-team appearances, scoring six goals and earning widespread acclaim as one of the league’s hottest young talents after Christmas.
McClean will be presented with his trophy ahead of Sunderland’s final home game of the season against Manchester United on Sunday.
Benin international Stephane Sessegnon won the Player of the Season award, while Frazier Campbell won goal of the season for his looping strike against Norwich City in February.