Scottish Football Writers Association



Clarke is manager of the year

Steve Clarke MoM 2018

STEVE CLARKE’S remarkable transformation of Kilmarnock has been recognised by our members as he has been named SFWA Manager of the Year in association with William Hill.

The former Scotland and Chelsea full back has proved to be an utterly inspiring choice by Rugby Park chairman Billy Bowie.

In the space of just seven months the seasoned coach who worked with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Gianfranco Zola at West Ham and with Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool as well as bossing West Brom and Reading has made a colossal difference.

He not only led Killie into the top six, he reinstalled a winning mentality. They beat Celtic at Rugby Park and drew twice at Parkhead, while also beating Rangers home and away.

There were many other leading contenders, not least Brendan Rodgers and Jack Ross, who has taken St Mirren back to the top flight,

However, Clarke has emerged as the winner of our poll and will receive his sward tonight at Glasgow’s Doubletree by Hilton Hotel.

He said: The players responded really well. I wouldn’t be speaking about this award if it wasn’t for my players. Without good players there are no good managers.”

Clarke believe appointing Alex Dyer as his assistant has been key to the success that Kilmarnock have enjoyed under him in the 2017/18 campaign.

"Alex was my best signing,” he said. “He’s quite reserved and likes to keep himself to himself, but he's the complete opposite of me. He's great company, funny, the lads love him, he's got good banter.

“He's a perfect assistant and has been a great foil for me because I can be a little bit serious at times, a little bit dour if I need to be, a little bit crabbit, I've got all those traits off my parents. We are a good combination and a good mix.”

Lindsay Herron