Michael McCrudden wins Player of the Year prize

Institute's Michael McCrudden receives the Sodexo Championship Player of the Year award from Derek Coulter of Sodexo, at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Institute's Michael McCrudden receives the Sodexo Championship Player of the Year award from Derek Coulter of Sodexo, at the NI Football Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Institute skipper Michael McCrudden picked up the Sodexo Championship Player of the Year award, at last night’s N Ireland Football Awards in Belfast.

McCrudden, who played a major role in the Waterside men’s title winning campaign, netted 17 goals this season and impressively in the last month scored seven goals in the run-in.

The Gobnascale man also picked up the two NI Football Writers’ Player of the Month accolades in November and April, as Paddy McLaughlin’s side were unbeaten during those months.

The 26-year-old was delighted the club secured promotion and is relishing mixing it with the ‘big boys’ next season.

“The main thing is that Institute will be in the Premiership next season. We played some great football in April and I think we’re very worthy champions,” he said.

“The manager, Paddy McLaughlin has to take a lot of the credit for our success.

“I know Institute have struggled in the Premiership in the past but I think this team is capable of competing next year. We have some great young footballers but we also have plenty of experience as well.”

Five of McCrudden’s team-mates along with the captain were deservedly named in the Bluefin Sport Championship Team of the Year.

Goalkeeper Marty Gallagher, along with defender’s Ryan Morrow, Mark Scoltock and Eamonn Seydak and midfielder Niall Grace, who netted 10 goals, were all in the side.