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Ali McCann to battle Rangers, Celtic and Hibs stars for prestigious award as St Johnstone ace lands PFA Scotland nomination

Ali McCann, left, lifting the Betfred Cup with St Johnstone.
Ali McCann, left, lifting the Betfred Cup with St Johnstone.

St Johnstone star Ali McCann has been nominated for the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a sensational season, making 42 appearances and helping the Saintees claim Betfred Cup glory, secure top-six football in the Premiership and reach the Scottish Cup final.

While he is on the cusp of truly staggering success at club level, McCann has also made waves on the international scene, taking his tally of Northern Ireland caps to four after lining up against Italy and the U.S. in March.

Ali McCann has been nominated for a prestigious award

And his progress has been recognised by members of the Scottish footballers’ union with a richly-merited place on their shortlist.

Recently-crowned SFWA Young Player of the Year Josh Doig — who will be on the opposition side when St Johnstone face Hibernian at Hampden on May 22 — Rangers’ Nathan Patterson and Celtic midfielder David Turnbull are McCann’s rivals for the gong.

The winner will be announced on Sunday.

Lavishing praise on McCann earlier this term, McDiarmid Park boss Callum Davidson said: “People sometimes forget how young he is because he’s made such an impact for us.

McCann in action against Hibs

“When you put on a complex training session he’s one of the ones first to understand it and get to grips with what you want them doing.

“Ali’s got that intelligence which means he can adapt to different systems and playing against different teams.

“He’s always desperate to improve and do better.”

Callum Davidson insists St Johnstone’s European chase will ensure focus does not drift to Scottish Cup final as Celtic clash looms

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