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13 March 2013

Smith and Brandy in the running for February accolades...

FOOTBALL League sponsors npower are proud to reveal the nominations for both the npower League 1 Manager and Player of the Month Awards for February. The winners will be announced on Friday 15th March 2013, with the final decision being made by two separate Football League judging panels.

The Manager of the Month award is decided by former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Deputy CEO Olaf Dixon and Katy Thomas, npower Partnerships and Sponsorships Manager. The Player of the Month panel sees Katy Thomas joined by former Saddler Don Goodman, BBC Sport’s Mark Clemmit and The Football League’s Head of Communications, John Nagle.

The nominations for the npower League 1 Manager of the Month Award for February are:

John Hughes – Hartlepool United
John Hughes' men looked destined for relegation around Christmas, but an undefeated February complete with four victories and two draws, has breathed new life into their season. Although they finished the month in 23rd place and six points adrift of safety, this run of form will have Pools fans dreaming of a great escape. 

Gary Johnson – Yeovil Town
Yeovil Town consolidated their play-off place nicely in February, racking up four wins, a draw and a solitary loss in their six league fixtures. At the end of the month, only four points separated the top seven positions, so Gary Johnson's men will be only too aware of the need to continue this good form to maintain their lofty standing. 

Dean Smith – Walsall
Dean Smith's Walsall enjoyed an undefeated month comprising of three wins and two draws from their five League fixtures. Despite this fine run, Walsall finished the month in 9th place, but with the top of League 1 so congested, The Saddlers' faithful can be forgiven for feeling they are reaching top form at just the right time. Smith, of course, took the January award.

The nominations for the npower League 1 Player of the Month Award for February are:

Fabian Brandy (Walsall) - winger
The 24-year-old gave a series of dazzling displays, running defences ragged, skipping past opponents at will and setting the tempo for his side. He scored the winner in the 2-1 victory at Doncaster Rovers and remarkably drew a standing ovation from the home fans at Carlisle United.

Peter Hartley (Hartlepool) – central defender
The local boy and club captain led his side’s fight against relegation in February. He allied his ability to read the game to his physical strength, ensuring greater defensive stability for Pools. Calm in possession, he also powered home vital headed goals in the wins over Notts County and Leyton Orient.

Paddy Madden (Yeovil Town) - striker
It's been a second successive stellar month for the Irishman, who bagged another five goals in six games to add to his astonishing work-rate. His commitment to harrying defences has been pivotal to Yeovil Town's surge into the play-off places and a testament to his predatory instincts.

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