Season Review Part 3 - Team of the Season.
In the final part of our season review we name the www.sheffieldfc.com team and player of the season and also which players made the most appearances and topped the scoring charts during 2012/13.
2012/13 WWW.SHEFFIELDFC.COM TEAM OF THE SEASON
1 – Liam Flynn, 45 appearances.
Flynny started the season as second choice but grabbed his chance with both hands when it came, after an injury to Nicky Draper, and held on to the shirt with some impressive performances, being particularly outstanding at home to Mickleover where a late equaliser for Club made a string of outstanding saves worthwhile. Lost his spot to Adam Billard for a period but a man of the match showing in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup quarter final at Worsbrough Bridge, including two vital penalty saves in the shootout, won his place back and he went from strength to strength in the closing games. Seems to have eradicated the odd errors present in his earlier appearances and has made the number 1 shirt his own, his performance in the defeat away to league champions King’s Lynn a perfect demonstration of his abilities and new found confidence.
2 – Ben Turner, 30+3 appearances.
The 2011/12 supporters’ player of the year picked up where he left off, with a string of quality performances at right back. Ben was named man of the match in the second game of the season and then again at Carlton with Club riding high in the table at that time. Constantly troubled by a niggling injury he battled on in a side which didn’t necessarily play to his strengths, still managing to add another man of the match award at Stamford in early November, before finally bowing to doctor’s orders and taking some time off. Despite the enforced layoff he could still be seen in the crowd at nearly every game to show his commitment to the team and it was great to see him back involved on the pitch over the closing weeks of the season. Hopefully back to full fitness and top form next term and looking to win back his player of the season award!
3 – Steve Woolley, 43+3 appearances, 20 goals.
Last season’s www.sheffieldfc.com player of the year was once more an integral part of the side this term. Started in a midfield role, out wide on both flanks and in the middle, but also spent time at left back which is where he lines up in our team of the season. He was the form player during the side’s good start to the season with man of the match performances in games against Gresley, Hucknall and Northwich. This term he also added more goals to his repertoire and, having never reached double figures before, he impressively finished as top scorer with 20 from his 46 appearances. His pair in the League Cup win over Harrogate Railway, a hat-trick at Hucknall and another double in the battling draw at home to high flying Coalville highlights. Not bad going for a midfielder/defender and he also celebrated his 200th appearance to confirm himself as one of the finest players to have pulled on the red and black in recent years.
4 – Anton Foster, 23 appearances, 2 goals.
Although he made his last appearance back in January he did enough in the first half of the campaign to see him into the team of the season in the holding midfield role. He won the www.sheffieldfc.com man of the match vote in the first game of the season and was the man pulling the strings at the heart of what many consider Club’s best performance of the season when they beat King’s Lynn in early September. He continued to perform strongly breaking up the opposition play and launching our own attacks, often in a side struggling to get a foothold in games, right through to his final game at Mickleover in early 2013. He scored a goal and picked up the www.sheffieldfc.com man of the match vote once more in that last appearance and his importance was demonstrated as Club went on a 4 game losing run in the league following his departure and it felt like several more weeks before Club could claim to have replaced his influence in the side.
5 – Jamie Hadfield, 46+1 appearances, 10 goals.
Missed the first two games of the season but once he came into the side, with a man of the match show at Belper, he proved himself to be a top quality performer and was the lynchpin around which the defence was built. Picked up 9 supporters’ man of the match awards, 10 www.sheffieldfc.com nominations and also found the time to knock in 10 goals during the campaign – including 7 in games during March and April. From the game at Mickleover in January to the draw at Northwich in April he won the supporters’ man of the match award in 8 of the 18 games – the last of those a standout performance in which he netted a pair of goals to lead a comeback from 2 down. A Rolls Royce of centre backs at this level of the game he made his 100th appearance in Club colours towards the end of the season and there are hopefully many more to follow.
6 – Lee Cooksey, 19+1 appearances, 1 goal.
A partner for Hadfield at the back had been hard to pin down with Cardwell, Burrell, Clayton, Shaw and Green all playing with various levels of success. The return of Lee from Rainworth wasn’t an instant success but after a few matches to settle into the side he proved himself a much improved performer from the one who left nearly 2 years earlier. A string of strong showings earned him the nickname of ‘The Wall’ and gave Club one of the best centre back pairings they have had in many years. He seemed to be getting better and better with each game at the end of the season and took supporter’s man of the match vote at home to Gresley, towards the end of April, and picked up 4 www.sheffieldfc.com awards in his 20 games. Having passed 50 Club appearances he will hopefully be back in top form next season as part of one of the meanest back lines in the league.
7 – Matt Roney, 28+17 appearances, 4 goals.
What can you say about a Club legend! 45 more appearances saw him become the first player in the Sheffield FC history books to pass the 300 mark and he seemed to be more involved and stronger than ever towards the end of the season. It was to be the third game of the season before Curtis Woodhouse gave him a chance but he sprang from the bench to score in a draw at Belper and after that was involved pretty much throughout. Finished the season involved in his 4th Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup Final and opened the scoring before going on to turn in a performance full of his trademark energy and endeavour on the wing. Sure to be heavily involved again next season just how many appearances can he reach?!
8 – Warren Burrell, 48+1 appearances, 2 goals.
After a successful late season conversion to centre back in 2011/12 Warren started this term in the same position and held his place despite the challenge of players more widely recognised as central defenders. He then seemed to shuffle into a different position each game but eventually was given a chance back in his more natural midfield role. After a few games to find his feet he turned in some high quality performances in the engine room before being required to show his versatility once more over the closing weeks, this time as a right back. The fact that he picked up man of the match awards in each position he played demonstrate his quality and importance to the team and he was an ever-present in the last 36 games of the season. In total he picked up the www.sheffieldfc.com man of the match award 6 times during the season, the last of these a fine all-round performance, at both right back and in the middle, in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup Final at Hillsborough.
9 – Jack Muldoon, 26 appearances, 14 goals.
Towards the end of 2012 nothing much seemed to be going right for Sheffield but the signing of Jack Muldoon was one move which was definitely a plus. Up front at various times the side seemed either lack a bit of power, a burst of pace, a touch of control and ability to hold on to the ball or the killer touch in front of goal; the arrival of Jack on loan from North Ferriby brought a player who added all of the above! He made an instant difference and his first goal came in a man of the match showing, one of four in his first seven games, as the side won 4-1 in a stunning performance at Kidsgrove in their first game under Ian Whitehorne. The goals kept coming – a hat-trick in a League Cup win at Brigg, 5 in 4 games as the side ended February and started March in fine form, 2 in another MOM performance against Kidsgrove and a goal of the season in a performance the Newcastle defence will still be waking up having nightmares about! The only down side was that he arrived so late and only on loan so he will now return to North Ferriby for next season in the Conference North.
10 – Vill Powell, 15+17 appearances, 10 goals.
Returning to the club as a player-coach and ending more firmly involved in the management side following Curtis Woodhouse’s departure he made just 15 starts and was rarely involved on the pitch in the last few months. Despite this he still managed to hit double figures on the goals front and make it into the team of the season. Club didn’t lose a game in which Vill scored, the highlight a late overhead kick to earn a draw at home to Mickleover, although his man of the match awards seemed to come in games in which Club struggled to perform. The best example of this was when he came from the bench to net two goals and avoid an embarrassing League Cup defeat away to struggling Garforth Town. Still showing the drive and commitment of a youngster he can hopefully continue to inspire both on and off the pitch next season.
11 – Andy Gascoigne, 35+3 appearances, 14 goals.
The 2010/11 player of the season and 2011/12 top scorer had an unhappy start to the season after incurring the wrath of new manager Curtis Woodhouse during the pre-season programme and starting the new term on the transfer list. A month into the season he made his first appearance in an FA Trophy game and scored his first of the season a week later in a 4-1 victory at home to Rainworth. He became a key part of the side once more, including a run of 5 goals in 6 games, but it wasn’t until the departure of Woodhouse he found his best form. Under Ian Whitehorne’s management he played in the last 18 straight games, scoring a goal and being named man of the match in consecutive April wins over Staveley and Stamford and ending with an equaliser in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup Final meaning he found the net in each round of the competition. Hopefully hitting the ground running in 2013/14 we can see a full season of Gazza at his best.
2012/13 WWW.SHEFFIELDFC.COM PLAYER OF THE SEASON
1st – JAMIE HADFIELD
2nd – Warren Burrell
3rd – Liam Flynn
2012/13 TOP APPEARANCES
1 – WARREN BURRELL 48+1
2 – Jamie Hadfield 46+1
3 – Steve Woolley 43+4
2012/13 TOP SCORER
1 – STEVE WOOLLEY 20 (from 47 appearances)
2 – Jack Muldoon 14 (from 26 appearances)
3 – Andy Gascoigne 14 (from 38 appearances)
In total 48 players took to the pitch in Sheffield F.C. colours this year and although only 11 can make it into the team of the season plenty of others contributed massively to the season and deserve some mention.
Of those who came closest to making the select 11 but just missed out Shaq McKenzie only started 15 games but was involved in a total of 41 and scored 10 goals, including some vital strikes, and his cameo performance in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup final demonstrated how dangerous he can be when he almost sparked a dramatic late comeback. Jack Waddle and Lee Featherstone both filled the left back role with distinction at times and were near to doing enough to clinch a place in the team of the season from their spells.
A couple of other faces came and shone briefly with Aaron Rice the best of the players who spent time on loan from Lincoln City, Karl Colley taking two www.sheffieldfc.com man of the match votes from his 9 fleeting appearances and Ellis Wall providing some great moments in midfield with his performance in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup win at Hemsworth being one of the finest individual showings of the campaign.
Several players joined the squad over the second half of the season with Watheq Al-Hakam added a high energy option out wide and Wes Hill settling in very quickly at left back. James Gregory and Joel Purkiss both added life and threat to the attack and Jordan Eagers returned with all the versatility and quality the supporters were so sorry to see leave just over 2 years before. Possibly the find of the season from the new management team was Richard Stirrup who grew in confidence with each passing game to become a key member of the midfield and one of the first names on the team-sheet by the end of the season. His debut came in what turned out to be Anton Foster’s last match and over the final weeks of the season Richard looked to have finally filled the gap left by Foster with a succession of displays of accurate passing and hard work both going forwards and in support of the defence.
To all those remaining players who I haven’t mentioned a big thank you for your efforts this season, they are much appreciated by all, and to those still with the Club keep yourselves fit and we’ll see you next season for (hopefully!) a promotion challenge – UP THE CLUB!