SHIELS' DECISION PAYS DIVIDENDS
Kilmarnock playmaker Dean Shiels feels he has benefited from choosing happiness over money after being shortlisted for the Cheque Centre PFA Scotland Player of the Year award.
Shiels joined Dundee United striker Jon Daly, Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew and his Northern Ireland team-mate Steven Davis among the nominees, with the winner to be announced on May 6.
The 27-year-old has scored 11 goals for Killie this season and won a Scottish Communities League Cup winners' medal and an international recall in the process.
Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels revealed his son had made a huge financial sacrifice to sign for the club in January after it looked like his loan deal from Doncaster would not be extended, but the decision has paid off in other ways.
Shiels jr said: "I have really enjoyed my football this year and when you're enjoying it, it's easier to do well.
"Everyone is different and you have got to support your family and money has got to come into it.
"But I have never been swayed by money in any decision in my career so far.
"I could have left Scotland for extra money in January and in the summer but I didn't start playing football to earn money.
"When I was a kid I just wanted to play and enjoy it and because I have done that this year, and managed to get a medal and this nomination, it has made it all worthwhile.
"In January, because I had been on loan at Kilmarnock, money was never going to come into the issue of where I wanted to play.
"I always wanted to see out the job. The fact we were in the semi-final of the League Cup was an added bonus.
"Sometimes you have got to make decisions on football reasons and forget about the rest."
The former Arsenal and Hibernian player has another decision to make in the summer when his short-term deal expires.
"I would like to stay in Scotland," he said. "Things become out of your hand in the summer when you're out of contract.
"I can't rule out moving back to England or going further afield but at the moment I'm really enjoying it here so that's going to play a big part in my decision-making.
"With the relationship I've built up with the Kilmarnock players and fans, that would be my first choice.
"My wife is from Edinburgh and I have to take everything into consideration but I'm very, very happy at Kilmarnock."
Shiels revealed he had voted for one of his rivals for the award, Rangers midfielder Davis, who won the prize in 2010.
"I'm maybe a wee bit biased, he is my room-mate at Northern Ireland," he said.
"He's been great, he has led that team through an awful lot.
"He's only a new captain, I don't think he expected to have to deal with what he has dealt with.
"But Steve is a great person and he has shown that through this time."
Meanwhile, Daly admitted his nomination had come as a surprise despite netting 21 goals so far this season.
The Irishman said: "I think I've had quite a good season and scored quite a few goals but I would partly put that down to the service I have got from the likes of Gary-Mackay Steven, Paul Dixon and Willo Flood."
Daly is tied on 18 goals with Celtic striker Gary Hooper in the race to finish as top scorer in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
But the former Hartlepool striker played down his achievement of topping the charts despite not playing for an Old Firm club.
"You maybe get more chances (at the Old Firm) but the delivery I have got this season has been second to none," he said.
"I have had plenty of chances, scored quite a few and missed quite a few so I can't really say if I played for either of the Old Firm I would have had many more goals."
Daly added: "A lot of my other seasons have been hampered by injuries. Since I came up here I've had three bad injuries.
"This is the first season I've had without being injured. I'm loving my football, it's a great bunch of boys and if they give me the service I'm getting, I'll score more than I miss."
Daly's team-mates Mackay-Steven and Johnny Russell are both in the running to emulate former United striker David Goodwillie as the young player of the year. They face competition from Celtic winger James Forrest and St Mirren midfielder Kenny McLean.
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