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Chelsea manager Avram Grant and Aston Villa winger Ashley Young were today named as the respective winners of the Barclays Manager and Player of the Month awards for April. It is the first time that either man has won the accolade.

Chelsea Boss Scoops First Award

Avram Grant was today named Barclays Manager of The Month for April - his first award in English football.

The Blues roared back into Barclays Premier League title contention during an unbeaten month in which they secured ten points from a possible 12. A 2-0 victory against Manchester City at Eastlands was followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Wigan Athletic, before Grant's men reinvigorated their title hopes with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Everton and a crucial 2-1 home success against title rivals Manchester United.

Grant becomes the first-ever Israeli to scoop the prize, and the first Chelsea manager for more than a year - since Jose Mourinho collected the award in March 2007.


Avram Grant Fact File

* Avraham ('Avram') Grant was born on 4th May, 1955, in Petah Tikva, Israel.
* He spent most of his early career coaching and managing in Israel, winning the league title with both Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa, before narrowly missing out on guiding the Israeli national team to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
* Grant took up the position of Technical Director at Portsmouth in June 2006, after stepping down as coach of the Israeli national side.
* In July 2007, he became Director of Football at Chelsea, and replaced Jose Mourinho as manager two months later.
* This is the first time Grant has won the Barclays Manager of the Month award.
* Avram Grant's full Barclays Premier League record reads: Played 31, Won 22, Drawn 7, Lost 2.



Villa Forward Young Collects Monthly Award


Ashley Young has won the Barclays Player of the Month for April, capping a memorable month for the Aston Villa winger.

Young, 22, scored three goals and played a key role as Villa maintained their push for a top-five Barclays Premier League finish.

He began the month by playing a crucial part in two of his side's goals in the comprehensive 4-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park, before scoring once in the 6-0 demolition of Derby County at Pride Park.

Two further goals followed as Aston Villa defeated local rivals Birmingham City 5-1, before the England international impressed again in the 2-2 draw against Everton at Goodison Park.

Young is the second Aston Villa player to pick up the Barclays Player of the Month award this season, after Gabriel Agbonlahor scooped the prize in November 2007; making this the first time since 1999-2000 that two Aston Villa players have won the award in the same campaign.

The end of April saw Young named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year,  the only outfield player outside of the top four to be handed the accolade.


Ashley Young Fact-File

* Ashley Young was born on the 9th July, 1985, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
* He began his playing career as an 18-year-old at Watford in 2002, having progressed from their Academy side.
* Young came to prominence in the 2004-05 season and won Watford's Young Player of the Season award.
* He moved to Aston Villa in January 2007 in a record signing for the club and scored on his Barclays Premier League debut against Newcastle.
* Young made his England debut in November 2007 as a substitute in the friendly against Austria.
* This is his first Barclays Player of the Month Award.
* This season, Young has made 36 Barclays Premier League appearances, scoring seven goals.



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