Winning the Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year awards is only the start for Dundee defender Lee Ashcroft.
That’s according to his manager James McPake, who expects the big centre-back to “kick on” again and show the Premiership what it’s been missing.
Ashcroft began his career at Kilmarnock, where he spent four seasons playing in the top flight.
However, he has been a Championship player for the past five years, having joined Dunfermline in 2016 before moving to Dens last summer.
The defender has been a mainstay of the Dark Blues defence but has also come up with a string of crucial goals at the other end.
He’s currently on six for the season ahead of this week’s play-off double-header against Raith Rovers.
And McPake isn’t surprised to see Ashcroft performing so well this season.
“I tried to sign Lee last season,” McPake said.
“He’s a player we’d done a lot of stats on and he’d won more headers than anyone else in the league last year.
“I played against him when he was a kid and I thought ‘he’s got a chance’. I’m surprised he’s not played Premiership football his entire career.
“He hasn’t surprised me this season, though, if anything I think he can kick on.
“I told him that when he got the awards, he’s a Premiership centre-back.
“He wants to help us get there and then to kick on again.”
‘We want more success from him’
Ashcroft was a clear winner of the Andrew De Vries Trophy, as voted for by Dundee Supporters Association clubs.
He picked up 16 individual nominations with Charlie Adam and Jordan Marshall next closest on six each.
And that’s the one that will mean most, says McPake.
“Lee will say the Player’s Player is the one you want but to get the supporters’ one I think is really important,” the Dens boss said.
“That shows what the fans think of you, even when they aren’t here watching the games.
“That’ll give him a boost, though he is high on confidence anyway because he’s playing well.
“I love working with him, he always wants to learn. His work ethic is out of this world so I am delighted with him.
“But, he has these awards, but we want more success from him.
“We’re hoping for four big performances from him because that will go a long way to getting us where we want to be.”