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Football: BEST BHOY NAKA FIRST PICK AGAIN.

SHUNSUKE NAKAMURA was celebrating a famous double last night after scooping the Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year award.

The Celtic star was also voted SPFA Player of the Year by his fellow professionals the day he scored at Kilmarnock to clinched the championship.

Nakamura, 28, beat off strong competition from his team-mate Stephen McManus to win the prestigious writers' prize.

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan claimed the Manager of the Year award for the second time in a row.

Hibs midfielder Scott Brown, 21, has been voted the Young Scottish Player of the Year after a tight contest with Kilmarnock's Steven Naismith - who was the SPFA's choice.

SFWA president Jim Black said: "This is the 50th anniversary of the Association and we have exceptional winners in this special year.

"Shunsuke Nakamura has been a pleasure to watch. He can produce moments of brilliance under extreme pressure.

"Scott Brown has had a terrific season for Hibs and has also made an impact in Alex McLeish's Scotland team.

"Gordon Strachan has led Celtic to another championship and the last 16 of the Champions League and deserves to be the Manager of the Year once again."

Nakamura joins an elite band who have claimed both SFWA and SPFA accolades in the same season - Derek Johnstone (1978), Charlie Nicholas (1983), Willie Miller (1984), Brian McClair (1987), Paul McStay (1988), Ally McCoist (1992), Andy Goram (1993), Mark Hateley (1994), Brian Laudrup (1995), Paul Gascoigne (1996), Henrik Larsson (1999 and 2001), Barry Ferguson (2003) and John Hartson (2005).
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 3, 2007
Words:253
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