Ryan White Takes us through his League One Team of the Season:
Goalkeeper – Jon McLaughlin (Burton Albion)
Many will say Burton Albion’s season has been a surprise to most, if not, all supporters. However, a lot of their success this season is down to their keeper Jon McLaughlin. The Brewers signed the Scotsman from Bradford City in 2014 and has mostly been their number one since his arrival – helping his side to promotion to League 1 for the first time in Burton’s history. McLaughlin has kept 19 clean sheets this season in 40 appearances and has conceded just 34 goals – making him the most-solid goalkeeper in League One this season.
Right-Back – Tony McMahon (Bradford City)
One would say a right-back’s job is to stop the opposition from scoring but Tony McMahon is in my League 1 Team of the Season because of his attacking threat. The 30 year-old has started 33 games this season for Bradford City in the league and may not be the most defensively-efficient full-back, however, McMahon has contributed 4 goals and 11 assists to the Bantams’ late surge into the Play-Offs.
Centre-Back – Jason Pearce (Wigan Athletic)
Jason Pearce may have only made 26 league appearances this campaign but when he has been in the side Wigan have looked almost unbreakable at the back. Pearce signed from Championship side Leeds United in January of last year but couldn’t stop the Latics from suffering relegation however he has massively helped his side’s promotion push this season. The centre-back was injured for the majority of the first half of the season but as soon as he came back Wigan climbed into the Play-Offs and currently sit top of the division – four points clear of 2nd-placed Burton Albion.
Centre-Back – John Mousinho (Burton Albion)
Another Burton Albion player, this time John Mousinho. The Brewers’ rise to the automatic promotion spots in League One has been captained by Mousinho. The 29 year-old has only missed 9 minutes of his side’s season, keeping 19 clean sheets in 41 games.
Left-Back – Rico Henry (Walsall)
When I was thinking who should be left-back in my Team of the Season, only one name came into my head and that was Walsall’s Rico Henry. Having been brought up into the first-team at the Bescot Stadium from the youth system, Henry has impressed not only Walsall fans but caught the eye of many Premier League teams. At 18 years of age Rico Henry has collected 28 appearances for the Saddlers, who sit in the Play-Off places, and is a very disciplined player with just 1 yellow card to his name – which can only justify why he is a wanted man.
Central Midfield – Marcus Maddison (Peterborough United)
I have to admit this is a strange selection given Peterborough’s very average season but looking at the stats this man has to be in Team of the Season. An attacking midfielder, Marcus Maddison is the only reason why the Posh are not fighting for their lives at the bottom-end of the table. One of the leaders in assists, Maddison has contributed 21 goals to Peterborough’s League 1 season and I would not be surprised if he moved on in the summer.
Central Midfield – Bradley Dack (Gillingham)
Another man who will be in demand this summer will be Bradley Dack of Gillingham. The Kent side reportedly rejected five offers in excess of £1.5 million during the January transfer window and there’s no reason why his value should be less. A product of Gillingham’s youth system, Dack has impressed since his debut in 2012 but this season has ultimately been his breakthrough year. The 22 year-old has 13 goals and 8 assists to his name in 34 games, with recently just coming back from a hamstring injury.
Central Midfield – Conor Hourihane (Barnsley)
Barnsley had a rough start to the campaign as relegation was a big possibility for the Yorkshire club. When Conor Hourihane returned from injury, the manager Lee Johnson gave the Irishman the armband – which stayed with him up to the point of writing this article. Since then Barnsley have climbed the table to just outside the Play-Offs, losing just three since Christmas and I am sure a lot of that was down to Hourihane’s leadership.
Striker – Nicky Ajose (Swindon Town)
Admittedly a few people will question my selection of Nicky Ajose but you just have to look at the statistics to see why. 22 of Swindon’s 57 goals this season have come from the striker which have perhaps kept them away from the threat of League 2 football. Ajose is top goalscorer in League 1 this season with those 22 goals and has a shot on target rate of 80%. So now you can understand why I put Nicky Ajose into Team of the Season.
Striker – Will Grigg (Wigan Athletic)
Wigan’s surgence to the top of the league is mainly down to Will Grigg. It is not an unknown fact that the Latics are unbeaten since their 1-0 defeat to Blackpool in December but Grigg, who was signed from Brentford last summer, has scored 14 goals since that game – the Northern Irish international had just 5 goals to his league tally prior to that.
Striker – Tom Bradshaw (Walsall)
This lad always had a bright future ahead of him when Walsall signed the 23 year-old from Shrewsbury in 2014. Tom Bradshaw has been the first name on the team sheet for the Saddlers this campaign and it’s not surprising to be honest. A very impressive season the man has had with 15 league goals and that was rewarded with a call-up to the Wales National Team, although he is yet to make a cap. If Walsall don’t gain promotion I can see Tom Bradshaw moving on in the summer.
Player of the Season: Will Grigg
Players who I also considered: Jussi Jääskeläinen, John Egan, Adam Armstrong, Billy Sharp and Jack Payne.
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