Annan midfielder Gavin Skelton is grateful to still be receiving awards for his playing abilities in a ‘strange’ season which saw him start out as a manager.
The 35-year-old midfielder has been named the Ladbrokes League 2 Player of the Month for February thanks to his towering displays for the Galabankies.
But just a few short months ago, Skelton was player/manager at Ladbrokes Championship side Queen of the South before losing his job.
In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News, Skelton said: “That’s football. You never know what’s around the corner. It’s been a strange season. I started off as manager at Queens and we had a couple of good results, and now here I am in League 2 in a playing role. But I’m enjoying my experience here, as I did at Queens too.
“I’m delighted. I was quite surprised to get the award, really. I hadn’t actually played properly for 18 months before Annan and, to be honest, I know everyone says it, but it’s more recognition for the entire team.
“I like to think I’ve contributed, but there have been a lot of tight games and this could’ve really gone to any one of us. It’s nice winning an award just ahead of your 36th birthday and it’s nice we haven’t been jinxed by it so far!
“It can be difficult re-adjusting, yeah, but once I got a couple of offers to play for teams – both in England’s non-league and League 2 up here – and I chose Annan, it hasn’t really been difficult. The manager and his assistant have really helped with that and at the moment it’s working out great.
“If I can bring a bit of experience that’s great, but players have accepted me since I’ve come in and it’s been a really warm welcome in the dressing room.
“There are a lot of clever footballers in the team too and that’s vital.
“I’m learning off them as well for my future coaching career, so I’m always trying to take things from all sorts of different people.
“I just want to be involved with football. It’s like a drug; when you haven’t got it, you certainly miss it!”
Annan are currently flying high in the division, with Jim Chapman’s men sitting in third place and nine points behind leaders Forfar Athletic.
Despite being one of the league’s smaller clubs, Skelton insists they’ll give their promotion bid absolutely everything they’ve got.
He added: “We want to get into the play-offs and then why not? Let’s have a go. It would be massive to achieve promotion, and it would be huge for everybody involved with the club. We’re not here to make up the numbers.
As for his future, Skelton is open to any and all opportunities, adding: “I’m old in terms of playing, but young in terms of coaching and I’m open to anything in the future whether it be coaching, assistant managing, managing, scouting – you name it.
“I’m gaining experience all the time and, like I’ve said, you never know what’s around the corner in football.”
If you fancy Skelton and his colleagues at Annan to overhaul Forfar’s lead, they’re priced at 33/1 to finish the season as League 2 champions.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing