MANAGER and player end of year votes are always controversial and throw up their fair share of opinions from fans and pundits alike.  

This week we learned the PFA Scotland player and manager of the season nominees ahead of the awards ceremony taking place at the Hilton hotel in Glasgow on Sunday evening. 

Social media provided the usual platform for personal judgements and there was heightened debate with no Rangers representation in any of the shortlists. 

There is no doubt that it is always difficult to narrow down a season of scintillating football action into just four nominees for each category, but the fact the awards dinner takes place before the season is complete does not go down well in my book.  

The PFA Scotland awards have taken place since the 1977/78 season and allow members to vote for their respective top-performing player and manager of the campaign. 

Votes have been cast over the last two weeks with players voting for associates of their own division. Votes are then counted and the top four are announced via social media.  

In terms of the young player of the year award, the category is voted for across all leagues so any player under 21 years of age on the first day of the season is eligible. 

All 42 managers from Scotland’s divisions cast votes and they are entitled to their top pick from across all four of the professional leagues. 

Despite the voting process being a fair and professional procedure, when the awards are announced on Sunday, there will almost certainly be argumentative air in certain quarters. 

You only have to cast your mind back to last season when Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was awarded the manager of the year trophy to find a conclusion that divided opinion

At the time of the awards, May 16 2021, Gerrard was, without doubt, the worthy winner after having guided his side to an unbeaten Scottish Premiership campaign.  

The trophy was also Rangers’ first Premiership title in a decade and ended a period of dominance by city rivals Celtic in Scotland’s top flight.  

St Johnstone's Callum Davidson was also in the running for the award and the timing of the ceremony meant he was cruelly overlooked for his season of all seasons with the Perth club. 

The McDiarmid Park manager took over from Tommy Wright in the summer of 2020 and he went on to do the unimaginable, by lifting both the League and Scottish Cup. 

Perth fans have been rudely awakened from their dream campaign after a stuttering season this time around, but there was no doubt that Davidson topped Gerrard for achievements in the 2020/21 calendar.  

A similar occurrence could take place this season with Ange Postecoglou, probably just edging the four-man shortlist at the time of writing. 

The Celtic manager has worked wonders during his first season in charge at Parkhead and he can all but confirm the league title against Rangers on Sunday. 

Postecoglou is up against Arbroath’s Dick Campbell, Ross County’s Malky Mackay and Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley for the PFA gong. 

And with the part-time Red Lichties confirming their place in the play-offs, if they were to continue their fairy-tale and land a spot in the Premiership next season, an argument surely has to be made for Campbell? 

It is all opinions at the end of the day and being nominated should be looked upon as an achievement in itself for both managers and players. 

PFA Scotland say the date of the awards night is set in place to respect lower league players who receive divisional awards and it should also be noted that voting has taken place for the Scottish Football Writers' Association Awards, with the annual dinner set to take place on Sunday May 8. 

As controversial as an early announcement can be, an easy solution would be to introduce an honourable achievement accolade for those deserving when the final match of the Scottish season ends. 

Davidson would be a prime example of a candidate worthy last term, and goalkeeper Craig Gordon could be another this year if he produces on the big stage again to earn Hearts the Scottish Cup against Rangers. 

Celtic duo Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic are also in the running for the player of the year honour alongside Ross County’s Regan Charles-Cook. 

All four players deserve their spot on the shortlist and would certainly be worthy winners, but if Gordon adds a Scottish Cup medal to his name after already having secured a third-place finish in the Premiership, he probably, just about, would merit the favourite tag. 

Sunday’s PFA awards night will also be an iconic moment for the Scottish game as for the first time in history, the Women’s player of the year and young player of the year awards will be crowned at the gala dinner. 

The quartet in the running for player of the year are Lizzie Arnot (Rangers), Priscila Chinchilla (Glasgow City), Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (Celtic) and Charlie Wellings (Celtic). 

Chinchilla and Galabadaarachchi are also shortlisted for the young player award, along with Aberdeen’s Bayley Hutchison and Maria McAneny, on loan at Hearts from Celtic. 

This will be a huge moment of acknowledgement for female footballers across the country and a sure sign that the Scottish women’s game is moving onto a level playing field with their male counterparts, albeit slowly. 

PFA Scotland chief Fraser Wishart spoke of his delight at the move, explaining: “It’s a huge thing for the union and for the female players. 

“We now have female members and I think an award like this being the first one that’s voted for by the players is a huge event, and I’m really delighted to be able to facilitate that.”