With the League One season drawing to a close this Saturday, FootballFanCast’s Aidan McCartney chooses his unsung XI- the players who have looked the part over the last season but were not recognised at the Official Football League awards.
When the League One PFA Team of the Year was announced in April there was some surprise that players from only four of the League One teams were in the side chosen by fellow professionals. Perhaps this was down to the fact that the players voted in early February which meant it wasn’t a fair representation of the season of a whole.
The PFA Team of the Year: Ben Hamer (Charlton), Jack Hunt (Huddersfield Town), Michael Morrison (Charlton), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United), Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton), Johnnie Jackson (Charlton), Stephen Quinn (Sheffield United), Stephen Gleeson (MK Dons), Darren Potter (MK Dons), Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town), Ched Evans (Sheffield United).
However these are the players that have stood out for me this season but have not been given the credit I think they deserve, in a 3-4-3 formation, with only two players from the same team:
David Martin (MK Dons)
Martin has been an essential part of the Dons’ achieving a play-off place once again with an impressive 16 clean sheets over the course of the season. He pulled off crucial saves to earn his side important points on their way to a fifth place finish.
Danny Batth (Sheffield Wednesday)
The young Wolves loanee formed a formidable part of the Wednesday’ defence that kept 16 clean sheets on their way to automatic promotion. The centre-back looks very capable of playing in a higher tier of football and may well get his chance at Molineux next season.
Andy Butler (Walsall)
It’s not been the best of seasons for Walsall but from a personal perspective one man has been heads and shoulders above his teammates. Player of the Year at the Saddlers for the consecutive season, Butler has once again been a reliable force at the back as well as offering a constant threat at set-pieces, chipping in with five valuable goals to help his side remain in League One for another year.
Chris Solly (Charlton Athletic)
The 21-year-old homegrown defender has taken his chance at the Valley with both hands, notching up an impressive 48 appearances for the League One Champions. Quality going forward and consistently solid in defence, he is probably the best right back in League One and will now get the chance to show off his considerable talents in the Championship next term.
Alan Judge (Notts County)
The 23-year-old midfielder has been the driving force in County’s failed play-off challenge this season. Featuring in 43 of their 46 games, scoring eight goals and with 12 assists to his name, Judge was the stand out performer as the Magpies just missed out on a place in the top six.
Michael Bostwick (Stevenage FC)
The industrious midfielder has been an outstanding performer in the heart of Stevenage’s midfield, playing a central role in their remarkable sixth place finish. He looks capable of playing at a higher level and has attracted interest from a whole host of Championship clubs after his excellent season.
Jose Semedo (Sheffield Wednesday)
The Portuguese midfielder-enforcer has been immense for Wednesday after arriving from Charlton last year. The 27-year-old has been an ever-present during their successful league campaign and was recently rewarded with the club’s Player of the Year award for his fine debut season at Hillsborough.
Kevin McDonald (Sheffield United)
Former Burnley man, McDonald was snapped up on a free transfer in the summer and has been a significant figure in the Blades’ promotion challenge proving himself to be one of the most effective operators in League One. His strength, excellent range of passing and ability to change a game has made him one of the Blades’ most important players as they reached the League One play-off final.
Yann Kermongant (Charlton Athletic)
The 29-year-old Frenchman has had quite an impact in his debut season at the Valley after arriving from Leicester City last summer. His aptitude in the air and obvious talent on the ball made him a lynchpin in attack for the rampaging Addicks as they trampled all below them on their way to the title. Celtic had showed interest in January and Powell will now be determined to keep him at the club during the long summer months.
Stuart Beavon (Wycombe Wanderers)
Scoring 25 goals in a season is some achievement, doing it for a side that finished in the bottom four is something else. Expect to see 27-year-old goal-machine Beavon playing at a higher level of football next season despite Wycombe’s relegation back to League Two.
Lee Miller (Carlisle United)
The big Scottish centre-forward was the main man behind Carlisle’s unsuccessful play-off charge finishing the season with an impressive total of 15 goals and 11 assists. His considerable influence on Greg Abbot’s side was felt when he missed the last few matches of the season through injury and the Cumbrians fell out of the play-off positions with four defeats in the last five games.
Manager of the Year:
Danny Wilson (Sheffield United)
Under pressure from the start due his past links with Wednesday, Wilson deserves a lot of credit for guiding the Blades’ to the League One play-off final on Saturday. The Bramall Lane outfit have scored the most goals in the league but it still ultimately wasn’t enough to see them beat Wednesday to second place. Wilson now has a second chance to help his side secure promotion back to the Championship to cap a memorable first season in charge.
Let me know if you think I have missed anyone who deserves a place in the team and you can follow me on Twitter @aidanmccartney