Zach Clough hasn’t had much to smile about this season but things have started to improve for the Bolton striker this week.

The 20-year-old, currently recovering from the second shoulder dislocation of his career, has celebrated two pieces of good news.

Nicknamed the ‘Denton Destroyer’, Clough firstly signed a new three-year contract extension with the Championship club.

Now, he’s been confirmed on a six player shortlist for the Mob Sport Rising Star prize at the 2015 MBNA Northwest Sports Awards. Voting closed on October 16 for all Player of the Year categories.

Clough, who hails from the same Tameside town as 1966 World Cup hat-trick hero, Sir Geoff Hurst and Jimmy Armfield, burst into the Trotters first team last season with six goals in 10 appearances before suffering his first shoulder problem.

But Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson, outstanding since his move from Aston Villa last January, is one of five other candidates battling for an accolade currently held by Marcos ‘Rony’ Lopes, Monaco’s former Manchester City prospect.

Fans from Lancashire neighbours, Bolton and Preston, have certainly risen to the challenge of ensuring their man picks up the prize at this year’s glitzy, black tie Awards ceremony at the Point, Emirates Old Trafford on Monday, 16th November.

City and Manchester United provide Premier League opposition for the Mob Sports Rising Star trophy with their shortlisted nominations, Angelino and Axel Tuanzebe.

League Two is represented by Accrington Stanley’s Josh Windass while Ben Heneghan of Chester continues to lead the chase for National League Player of the Year and Rising Star honours.

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