LEE WALLACE insists his Player of the Year award means as much to him as any other prize he has ever won in his football career.
The Rangers Captain was tonight named as the club’s top man at the end of what has been a super season so far, and Wallace also paid tribute to his teammates for their efforts over the season.
Wallace explained: “This means the world to me. While I recognise it’s an individual award and I take great pride in that, we could have had a number of players up on that stage receiving this award based on the success of this season.
“As a consequence, it’s allowed the team to go on and be as successful as it has been. The team medals are going to live long with me, but they are every bit as special as each other, and you can never take it for granted.
“They are every bit as special as each other – whether it be team or individual – and this is certainly a night that I will always remember.”
Wallace also paid tribute to Mark Warburton, discussing the impact he had even in his early days as manager of the club.
He continued: “We all definitely grew in belief. When the manager first spoke to us on that first day back at pre-season, that belief certainly grew and we certainly had the hunger, and slowly, week by week as we got used to each other we built up and built up and all of a season were beating Hibs 6-2.
“Then, I think many people on the outside realised that there was maybe something special happening here, but we had to go and prove it.
“We have been asked a number of questions, faced a number of challenges, but thankfully we’ve rose to them, and we still have our last challenge on May 21 to look forward to.
“We have the best of everything, and we can never take that for granted. We have the best training ground, the best manager in place, the best assistant in David, the best goalkeeping coach in Jim Stewart, the best of physios, the best of analysts, the best of food, the best masseurs the best of kitmen, and the list goes on.
“It’s a great platform for us to maximise our tools and be the best we can be.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the manager, and I think a lot of talk goes on about the football, but what we can’t forget is what a great human being he is as well, and we have learned a lot on that front too.
“H’s well-mannered and well-spoken as we can always see, and it’s been a really enjoyable season which we can make a tremendous one.”
The season could reach new heights on May 21 if Hibs are beaten in the Scottish Cup final, with Wallace adding: “The carrot is there for us. One of the manager’s main goals when we first spoke was European football, and we have got that carrot in that game, so we are going to be ready.
“We are looking forward to that game and we know if we deliver our level of performance then we will be fine going into that game.”