fbpx Skip to main content

Rangers goalkeeper Jack Butland is delighted to receive recognition for his performances in a “pivotal” campaign after being named on the shortlist for the PFA Scotland Premiership Player of the Year award.

The 31-year-old is on a four-man list alongside team-mate James Tavernier,  Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland and Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley.

The England international did not feature at all last season with Crystal Palace and during a loan spell with Manchester United, with the former Stoke and Birmingham player’s career stalling somewhat following his move to Selhurst Park in 2020.

But he quickly became a fan favourite at Ibrox and England manager Gareth Southgate recently attended Rangers’ 3-3 draw with Celtic to monitor the goalkeeper’s performance.

Butland, who won his ninth and most recent international cap on 2018, said of his nomination: “It’s an honour. It’s been an enjoyable year and it means you have performed well. It’s tough competition but it’s enjoyable.

“It wasn’t something I was looking to achieve. This whole experience for me has been about playing and showcasing what I can do. I’d like to think I have done that fairly consistently so far.

“I guess with that has come some recognition from your fellow players, which is always nice.

“I have had seasons where I have been consistent across the whole thing. However, this season has probably been more important and more pivotal than many others.

“But I have not really thought about it that way. For me it’s just been enjoyable. I have loved every minute and I am just relishing the challenge and pressure of it.”

Jack Butland
Jack Butland celebrates with the League Cup trophy (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Butland won a League Cup winners’ medal in December and he and his Ibrox team-mates are vying for more silverware with Celtic, who they trail by three points in the cinch Premiership and face in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final.

“That’s exactly why you play for this club, to be successful and win trophies, so hopefully we can add a few more,” he said.

Tavernier has netted 24 times for Rangers this season, Shankland has scored 28 goals for Hearts as well as one with Scotland while O’Riley has produced 13 goals and 11 assists in the league.

There are four midfielders on the shortlist for the Young Player award – Kilmarnock’s David Watson, Lennon Miller of Motherwell, Dundee’s Lyall Cameron and Rangers winger Ross McCausland.

Rangers also have two players in the running for the SWPL1 Player award – Kirsty MacLean and Rachel Rowe. Celtic forward Amy Gallacher and Hibernian striker Jorian Baucom are also on the shortlist.

MacLean is also on the shortlist for the SWPL1 Young Player award along with Gers team-mate Mia McAulay. Aberdeen’s Bayley Hutchison and Partick Thistle goalkeeper Ava Easdon are also among the contenders.