Manchester City’s Nick Cushing and Matt Beard of Liverpool could break new ground at the 2015 MBNA Northwest Football Awards after being nominated for one of the top honours.
Cushing and Beard, in charge of their respective club’s women’s teams, are short-listed for Manager of the Year.
It’s the first time bosses of our region’s women’s sides have been in the running for an accolade previously won by Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson plus current holder, Sean Dyche of Burnley.
In his first season in charge, Chester born Cushing guided the Blues to the 2014 Continental Cup, ending the club’s 26-year wait for a major piece of silverware.
Beard, soon to leave Anfield for a post with US based, Boston Breakers, has guided Liverpool Ladies to back-to-back WSL titles in the last two seasons.
Opposing the duo-and also celebrating first-time nominations-are Bury boss Dave Flitcroft and Simon Grayson of Preston North End.
Flitcroft, 41, guided the Shakers to automatic promotion from League Two in 2014-2015 with a final day of the season, 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers.
Grayson, 45, who began his coaching career at Blackpool, masterminded Preston’s own promotion to the Championship, ending nine previous play-off failures as North End thrashed Swindon 4-0 at Wembley.
The winner will be announced at this year’s glitzy, black tie Awards ceremony at the Point, Emirates Old Trafford on Monday, 16th November.
The MBNA Northwest Football Awards celebrate all things good in the region’s football from grass roots to the Premier League, treatment table to the Boardroom.
The judging panel, which included the PFA’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, John Hudson, Colin Bridgford, CEO of Manchester County FA, Jo Tongue, Director of Women in Football and senior executives from the BBC, Kick it Out, FC Business, Football Medical Association, MBNA and Mob Sport, had a tough job reaching their decisions including Community Initiative of the Year (with a record eight shortlisted projects) and Best Club Marketing Campaign which sees National League club, Tranmere Rovers, shortlisted together with Manchester City and Everton.
Tony Strudwick, responsible for overseeing athletic development at Manchester United, Professor Barry Drust, Liverpool’s sports science consultant, and Dave Fevre, Blackburn Rovers’ Head of Sports Medicine, are in contention for the Fabrice Muamba Award for Outstanding Contribution to Football Medicine and Science.
Voting for Player of the Year accolades is open until October 16. Fans can register their votes at the official website: www.northwestfootballawards.com, Twitter (@NWFAwards, @MBNA) or Facebook http://facebook.com/NWFAwards