Phillips Crowned Young Player of Month As He Gets Scotland Call-up

By: Steve Sutcliffe |
21/02/12 |

Matt Phillips has been named as The Football League’s young player of the month for January.

The 20-year-old scored four goals in six outings last month, including his second hat-trick in three weeks in the Seasiders’ FA Cup win over Fleetwood Town.

Phillips came through Wycombe Wanderers’ Apprenticeship programme and made 86 appearances for the Chairboys before moving to Blackpool in the summer of 2010.

He made an immediate impression at Bloomfield Road and scored on his full debut in a 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

On receiving the award, Phillips said: “It is great for a young person to get recognised like this. On a personal level it is a great achievement and for Blackpool to have players getting recognition, it is great for the club as well.”

“I think I am playing in a good side, a side that plays attacking football. Ian Holloway has got us playing well. It is exciting and is a joy to be part of.”

Blackpool Boss Ian Holloway, is now keen to see Phillips push on to the top echelons of the game;

“I believe he is good enough for one of the top five teams in this country and that makes him good enough for one of the top five teams in the world doesn’t it?

“I don’t think he could get any more confident, but the great thing about him is that it doesn’t turn to conceitedness. He has got his feet firmly on the ground.

“He comes in and works as hard as anybody and some of the best players in the world are like that.”

Phillips has already been capped at youth level for England and featured in the U20 squad for the World Cup in Columbia last year.

However the youngster’s long-term international future appears to be heading in a new direction after he was called into the Scotland squad by Craig Levein.

The youngster qualifies for Scotland through his grandparents and could make his debut against Slovenia on 29 February.

“All the paperwork is in place with FIFA and we’re hoping to have clearance by the end of this week,” Levein told Talksport earlier today.

“I’m thrilled to bits about young Matt –he’s a fantastic talent. His grandfather actually got in touch with one of the newspapers up here to ask them to make us aware he was eligible and once contacted Matt he was delighted and his grandfather was very excited as you can imagine.”