Blackpool's Matt Phillips has been named the January Young Player of the Month for the npower Football League.

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 made 78 appearances for Wycombe Wanderers before moving to Blackpool in the summer of 2010 where he scored on his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

An England U20 international, Phillips was included in the squad for the World Cup in Colombia last year having made his debut at that age group against France in February 2011.

In receiving the award, Matt 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 manager Ian Holloway added: "Any young player needs confidence. He went out on loan has scored lots and lots of goals and he lost that fear he was playing with. He went to a tournament [Under-20 World Cup] in the summer and they didn't score a goal. He was also asked to do some defending which I don't normally ask him to do and it was all a little bit different. But at the moment he is playing with enthusiasm, he is trying things and it is great to watch. He is a very, very exciting talent.

"I have got no doubts that he is going to be with one of the best teams. 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 think he is that good. I think he has everything potentially and more important is his temperament, his character and the person he is. I am very, very proud of him at the moment.

Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League. There are 8,500 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.

Head of Youth Development at The Football League, David Wetherall said: "Matt has had a fantastic month and is developing quickly into a very exciting player with a bright future ahead of him.

"He is another fine example of the high quality talent being developed at Football League clubs and I wish him all the best for the rest of his career."

Each month, the Young Player of the Month Award is awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.

During the 2010/11 season, 249 players aged 21 or under made their professional debuts in The Football League.

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