Video: Barnsley boss Heckingbottom hails influence of award-winning Conor Hourihane

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Paul Heckingbottom has praised skipper Conor Hourihane after the midfielder's performances this season won him Barnsley Player of the Year at The Star's Football Awards.

The Reds boss pointed to the Irishman's goals in helping turn around a season which saw them once languish at the bottom before ending up in a battle for the play offs.

Conor Hourihane wins the Barnsley Player of the Year with Andrew Deniff and Paul Heckingbottom at The Star Football Awards. Picture: Andrew Roe

Conor Hourihane wins the Barnsley Player of the Year with Andrew Deniff and Paul Heckingbottom at The Star Football Awards. Picture: Andrew Roe

Heckingbottom said: "I think everyone appreciated is the amount of goals that he contributes and the assists that he contributes and that's probably a big part of his game.

"What people don't understand is probably the biggest reason he's got the captain's armband is his qualities off the field as well, in terms of how he approaches the game, how he wants to get better every game and that's a big factor in our football club, the fact that we want people to strive to be better all the time and he leads by example."

See The Star on Friday for a special eight-page pull-out on the 10th Annual Football Awards