Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has been honored by his peers by picking up the 2009 Manager of the Year award in Glasgow on Sunday night.
Strachan edged out last year’s winner Billy Reid and St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes in the final vote, and after picking up his second award of the night, the Celtic boss explained that to be thought of by his peers in such a manner left him feeling rather humble.
“It’s humbling it really is,” Strachan said. “Because we do battle and scrap with other teams, players and managers to win games and we do battle with the world sometimes as football managers.
“And it’s nice to know there is a lot of positive things being said after all the negatives.
“It’s terrific and to do it in front of all my friends from 25 years ago – and we’ve been friends all along – because they sent me off on my career and a reasonably successful path that ended up here.
“If I wasn’t as successful at Aberdeen, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been here at this point in my career.
“We’ve got a good group of lads from Celtic here tonight, and again, I keep looking at my career and any time I’ve been successful and had successful periods in my career, I’ve always had good players round about me.
“So, it’s the common denominator for a manager or a player to have good players round about you.”
The Celtic manager, who along with his former Aberdeen European Cup Winners Cup colleagues picked up a special merit award, admitted that a team of Scots and what they did that night in Sweden will never happen again.
He added: “Somebody was saying how young they were and the average age was incredibly young. “And we will never see the likes of it again. The reason being, money has taken over the game.
“When we did it money was important, but not as important as is now. Years ago when we played the best players won, but now it’s different.”
However, Strachan thinks the caliber of manager in the Scottish game is such that it is full of very shrewd individuals.
He said: “The coaching has gone up a notch and there are deeper thinkers in the game and they make life difficult for the top teams.
“There’s Hamilton that can play a 3-6-1 (formation) and that is difficult, but that is good thinking, that’s what Billy (Reid) is meant to do.
“It’s brave to do that, he might just go out and play the same system as us and hope for the best.
“But after the first game of the season when we beat them 4-0, I took a look at it and thought that is real clever to say ‘we can’t do that again let’s do something different’ and that is the difference now.
“I left Scotland 25 years ago and now you have coaches who are very, very clever and play lots of different styles of football and it usually makes it difficult to win.”