Shane Sutherland suffered from no Christmas hangover as his scintillating form in January earned him the Ladbrokes League 2 Player of the Month award.
And he appears to be making a thing of starting the year with a bang, picking up this gong a year after doing the same while at Peterhead.
The Elgin striker was a man on a mission in the month of January after firing home six goals and laying on three for his team-mates in five games.
It’s that return which has taken his goal tally for the season to 23 already, while at the same time firing Jim Weir’s side to third in League 2.
But it shouldn’t come as a surprise for Sutherland, who seems to be making a habit of starting the New Year strong.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News, Sutherland said: “I’m delighted. Awards like this are always welcome any time they come along.
“It’s nice to get noticed by the people out there watching the games and what not, and I think my form this season has been good so I’m pleased.
“I won this award in January last year when I was at Peterhead so I’m not sure why, but I seem to play well after Christmas. Of course, the team has played well overall. We won three, drew one and a lot of individuals in the team have been doing well too.
“But I suppose to get six goals, and three assists as well is pretty good going and I’ll be doing all I can to ensure it continues.”
Sutherland is in his third spell with Elgin after starting his career at Inverness and spending a year with Peterhead last season.
And despite having to drop down the divisions after his previous attempts to play at a higher level, the 26-year-old hitman insists he still has the ambition to reach the top of the game.
Sutherland added: “I obviously still have the ambition to play at the highest level I can, but I’m just really grateful to be given the opportunity to play at Elgin, and previously at Peterhead.
“If teams were watching me and were to come in for me I’d have to just put it to the back of my mind. That’s just the way I am. If something comes of it, I’ll explore it at the end of the season. But I’ll never lose the ambition to play at the highest level, even if it’s part-time.”
Sutherland has more pressing short-term aims to achieve anyway as he targets more goals to fire Elgin to promotion.
He’s on 23 for the season already and the Borough Briggs outfit are third in the table, with their two games in hand giving them the chance to close the gap to Forfar and Arbroath above.
Sutherland said: “I think we’re in a strong position now to reach the play-offs.
“Forfar are in a really strong position and it’s theirs to lose. But we’ve still to play them and if we could win that then we’d put more pressure on them.
“We’ve still got 45 points to play for so there’s obviously still a chance anything can happen, but we’re under no illusions it’s a tough task.
“Every striker has an aim at the start of the season. I won’t say what mine is or was, but you don’t want to set the benchmark too high.
“I set myself a target at the start of the season and I surpassed that; I set myself another target and I passed that again and now I have another target in my head which I’ll be aiming for between now and May. Hopefully, if I reach that target, the club can achieve its goals.”
Sutherland will be hoping to continue his strong form when Elgin take on leaders Forfar this weekend, with our odds-compilers making City 19/10 to win the game.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing