The 31-year-old Derry lad topped an online poll of supporters, hauling in 49% of over 6,000 votes to beat Sam Clucas, who finished well behind in second place on 38% of the vote.
McClean played a key role in keeping Michael O’Neill’s side in the Championship, scoring seven league goals and contributing the same number of assists in 36 games as the club avoided relegation by eight points, having been six points from safety when the manager arrived in November.
“I just want to say firstly how proud I am to pick up the club’s Player of the Year award,” said Creggan-born James.
“I would like to thank the fans for their support throughout the whole season and their votes. I will work extremely hard to try to emulate and better myself next season.”
There is a feeling at the bet365 Stadium that O’Neill has helped to get the best out of McClean, who more than doubled his goal tally from the previous season.
Speaking in April, the boss was full of praise for the former Derry City star.
“For me, James hasn’t been a difficult player to manage at all,” said O’Neill.
“James is such a willing, whole-hearted player, he just at times needs a little bit of guidance.
“He’s been excellent when you look at the number of goals he assisted and the number he’s scored as well.
“So there are a lot of positive things in his play, but he maybe needs a bit of help tactically and that’s something we continue to work on.
“He came into the game a bit late and from a non Academy-style background, so I still think there’s development in James even though he’s 30/31 and hopefully we can add just a little bit of subtlety to his game as well.
“There’s more to come from James.”
It was McClean’s second season with the Potters, having joined from West Brom after Stoke’s relegation from the Premier League in 2018.Tags: