Preston North End duo nominated for awards

By Ben Reardon – reporter

The Preston North End duo of Paul Huntington and Daniel Johnson have both been shortlisted for prizes at the Northwest Football Awards.

Centre-back Huntington is in the running for the League One player of the year award – with the award based upon the 2014/15 season.

The 28-year-old Carlisle native played a key part in North End’s promotion back up to the Championship, with Huntington featuring on 46 occasions for the Lilywhites, in a successful campaign for all involved at Deepdale.

Huntington scored the second of four goals that North End notched up in the play-off final, to cap off a season which started with mixed fortunes for the 28-year-old, who signed from Yeovil Town in 2012.

So far this season, Huntington has become a regular feature in Simon Grayson’s starting eleven side, as they returned to the Championship after a four year hiatus.

Huntington’s competition for the award includes two goalkeepers – Chris Maxwell of Fleetwood Town and Crewe Alexandra shot-stopper, Ben Garratt.

Also in the running are Oldham Athletic midfielder Mike Jones and Rochdale forward Ian Henderson.

His Preston North End team-mate, Daniel Johnson, is also in the running for an award – with the central midfielder on the shortlist for the Rising Star of the year award.

The award, which is separated through divisional category, is for the 2014/15 League One season, and an award for the 23-year-old would cap off a fine personal term.

Johnson, who completed a permanent move to North End in the January transfer window, impressed in his 20 games in front of the North End faithful, scoring eight goals in 20 appearances, following his £50,000 move from Premier League side, Aston Villa.

He has adapted well to life in the Championship, with six goals to his name in 16 second-tier appearances.

In terms of competition on the evening – Johnson is nominated alongside Crewe Alexandra’s Jamie Jones, Carl Winchester who plays for Oldham Athletic, and Jamie Allen of Rochdale.

The pair will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of a current North End forward, in picking up an accolade at the prestigious event.

Just last year Joe Garner was voted League One player of the year and also won the award for goal of the year following his quite brilliant volley in the play-off semi-final clash against Rotherham at Deepdale.

The North West Football Awards will take place on Monday 16th November 2015 at Emirates Old Trafford, home of Lancashire Cricket Club.

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