Season review: Scotland

Neil Lennon joined Celtic FC greats Jock Stein and Billy McNeill as the Northern Irishman became the third man to lift a domestic double as both player and manager at the club.

Neil Lennon celebrates winning the league title
Neil Lennon celebrates winning the league title ©Getty Images

Neil Lennon joined Celtic FC greats Jock Stein and Billy McNeill by becoming the third man in the club's history to win a league and cup double as both player and manager. The Northern Irishman also led the Glasgow team to a last-16 place in the UEFA Champions League, the highlight of their European run being a home victory over FC Barcelona the day after the Hoops celebrated their 125th anniversary. The sole blemish came in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals where Celtic fell to eventual winners Saint Mirren FC.

Champions: Celtic FC  
With Rangers FC starting over again in Scottish football's fourth tier, Celtic began the season as outright favourites to claim a 44th championship. The absence of a sustained Rangers challenge, allied to the demands of a successful UEFA Champions League campaign, meant the Hoops could pace themselves on the domestic front. So, while the title was clinched on 21 April with a 4-1 triumph against Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC with four rounds of fixtures remaining, it was achieved with the lowest winning points total in Scottish Premier League history.

Cup final: Hibernian FC 0-3 Celtic FC
Having missed out on a domestic treble after losing to St Mirren in the last four of the League Cup, Celtic were determined to end the term on a high by collecting a record 36th Scottish Cup. A first-half double by Gary Hooper – the Englishman's 30th and 31st goals of the season – together with a second-half strike from Joe Ledley ensured a comfortable victory over Hibernian on 26 May, allowing Lennon to take his place among the club's pantheon of elite managers.

European places*
Celtic FC – UEFA Champions League, second qualifying round
Motherwell FC – UEFA Europa League, third qualifying round
Hibernian FC – UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round
Saint Johnstone FC – UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Leigh Griffiths (Hibernian FC)
"If you had said to me at the start of the season I would get the PFA Young Player of the Year, the Scottish Premier League Player of the Year and now the Football Writers' Player of the Year, I would have snapped your hand off in about eight pieces!" Leigh Griffiths's reaction to receiving a hat-trick of awards showed how much it meant to the on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers FC striker to net 28 goals for the team he supported as a boy. The highlight was a sumptuous long range free-kick that decided the last Edinburgh derby of the campaign. The only disappointment for Griffiths, 22, was not being able to end Hibs's 112-year wait for Scottish Cup glory.

One to watch: Alex Harris (Hibernian FC)
The 18-year-old burst onto the scene during Hibs's epic 4-3 Scottish Cup semi-final triumph over Falkirk FC. The Easter Road side trailed their first division opponents 3-0 after 30 minutes, but the teenage winger grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to score early in the second half and inspire the Hibees to a memorable extra-time victory. "He has a burst of pace, he can go by players at will and his range of passing is very, very good for a young player," said Hibs manager Pat Fenlon. "He is a clever footballer. He plays with his head up."

Surprise package: Ross County FC
The Highland club confounded many critics who expected Derek Adams's men to be involved in a relegation fight in their first top-flight season. However, they got off to a good start with a 1-1 opening-day draw with Celtic and never looked back, the pinnacle of their achievements being a memorable 3-2 success against Lennon's team in Dingwall on 9 March. The midfield creativity and goalscoring prowess of captain Richard Brittain, Iain Vigurs and Rocco Quinn were key to securing a fifth-place finish in their maiden SPL campaign. The Staggies only narrowly missed out on a UEFA Europa League berth in the closing fortnight.

Leading scorer: Michael Higdon, Motherwell FC (26)

Relegated: Dundee FC

Promoted: Partick Thistle FC

Number: 3
Neil Lennon became the third man to have won a league and cup double with Celtic as both player and manager, following in the illustrious footsteps of Jock Stein and Billy McNeill.

Quote
"To win the double as a player was great, but to win it as a manager is just fantastic." Celtic boss Lennon revels in leading his charges to league and cup glory

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