And so, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. With voting now closed and the team of independent adjudicators finished totting up the thousands of votes, The Top of the D’s Team of the Season for the NOW: Pensions Men’s Premier League is unveiled. Here we go:
This quickly developed into a two horse race with David Kettle of Surbiton and Jamie Cachia pulling away from the rest of the pack. In the end, the Sheffield Hallam goalkeeper came out on top, taking 57.52% of the readers’ votes. Kettle came in second with a very impressive 27.92% but it was not enough to overcome the Scottish star. Cachia has been instrumental in keeping Hallam in with a chance of staying up and will no doubt have his part to play as the promotion playoffs come to an exciting conclusion this weekend. Regardless of Sheffield’s fate, Cachia can be mightily proud of his efforts this campaign and his place in this <ahem> coveted team of the season.
With four slots to divide up between seven contenders this category was mightily close. At one time or another all seven players held a place in the team before the votes finally closed on Thursday evening. When the dust settled the back four was as follows: Surbiton’s Jonny Gall topped the poll with 36.11%. Next was Beeston’s Tim Whiteman on 14.93%, followed by Whiteman’s teammate Ollie Willars and Reading’s Richard Mantell, who both collected 10.42% of the public vote. It’s a pretty strong backline in anyone’s book with all the attributes a defence needs well catered for.
Like the defenders category, this one was hotly contested, with one player streaking ahead in the early going, whilst the others battled it out for the remaining two slots. In the end Surbiton’s Chris Grassick got the nod with 24.14% of the votes. He is joined by Reading’s Chris Newman who polled 19.75%, whilst the final slot went to Beeston’s Adam Dixon (15.05%). Dixon saw off a late charge from Canterbury’s Kwan Browne who got just eight votes fewer to come in fourth. Interestingly, Nick Catlin, the league’s Player of the Year (as voted for by his fellow players) was down in joint fifth with Ashley Jackson, getting 7.84% of the votes. It seems the readers of this site are a tough crowd to please.
Not a huge surprise in this category as Beeston’s goal machine and philanthropist Sam Ward romped home with 25% of the votes. He is joined by Surbiton’s strike duo Matt Daly and Alan Forsyth who accounted for 20.92% and 15.31% of the public’s votes. The trio have mustered 60 goals between them this season and are all worthy of their places in this team of the season.
The team in full: Cachia, Whiteman, Gall, Mantell, Willars, Grassick, Newman, Dixon, Ward, Daly, Forsyth.
If we compare and contrast this team with the England Hockey Team of the Season, we can see there are some striking differences between then two sides. Perhaps this is because players see the games differently to the fans. Or perhaps it’s because some clubs have quite a significant number of fans who use social media and who wanted players from their clubs to get in. Democracy, eh?
Whatever the reason, congratulations to all those who made it into The Top of the D’s team of the season. An honour up there with any other, I think everyone would agree!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the articles and cast a vote. I was astonished by the response!