SPL young player award for St Mirren's Kenny McLean

Kenny McLean with his award
McLean was voted top young player in the SPL during October

St Mirren's Kenny McLean believes a switch to his favoured central midfield helped him to a Scottish Premier League young player of the month award.

The 19-year-old received his Clydesdale Bank award after shining personally despite an inconsistent October for the Paisley side.

"I played left midfield last season, which I was happy to do as long as I was playing," he said.

"But now I have my chance in centre midfield and hopefully I can take it."

McLean ended October on a high by scoring the only goal of a victory away to St Johnstone.

St Mirren suffered three defeats during October, including a surprise League Cup loss to First Division Ayr United.

However, they also earned a creditable 1-1 draw away to reigning champions and SPL leaders Rangers.

McLean came through the youth ranks at St Mirren Park and earned his first taste of first-team football on loan with Arbroath in Division Two.

He made his St Mirren debut in October 2010, when he also signed a three-year extension to his contract, and won his first Scotland Under-21 cap in March.

"It is my first award since I came into the first team, so it's great to pick it up so early and hopefully it's a sign of things to come," said McLean.

"The way we play under the boss suits me and hopefully we will be moving forward.

"I think the goal took me on the way to this award.

"It was great to get my first one for the club and hopefully that is also the first of many."

McLean admits a name check by Craig Levein capped a wonderful October, the Scotland coach revealing on a television that the midfielder had come to his attention even before his winning strike against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

"It was massive," said the player capped at Scotland Under-21 level last season but who is not in the squad to face the Netherlands on Monday.

"Obviously it gives me something to live up to a wee bit and hopefully I can do that and keep progressing.

"I was in the 21s at the end of last season, so I will be looking for an another appearance in the next season or two, hopefully."