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My Third Division team of the year

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Chris Jardine | 23:01 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I thought I'd blog about something a wee bit different this week as, apart from my end of season blow-out at the weekend, there's not too much to tell you about life in the Third Division this week!

The various player of the year awards have been announced during the last couple of weeks so with that in mind I'm going to give you my thoughts on a Third Division team of the season.

I'll ask you to bear in mind that I'll only have faced these players around four times this season so I'm expecting some disagreement.

Robbie WintersLivingston's Robbie Winters was voted Third Division player of the year by PFA Scotland. Photo: SNS.
From that point of view, I'm hoping a few of you might chip in with your own favourite players and possibly even a team of the season; that is, of course, unless I get it spot on, so here goes....

In goal I'm going to go for David Mitchell of Stranraer. It's clear from the awards he received from his club's supporters and team-mates how good a season David has had and he has always impressed me when we've come up against him.

Every team needs a good goalkeeper behind them and Stranraer have certainly got that, and at only 20 years old they will be hoping to have him between the sticks for a very long time.

I've decided to pick my team based on the formation that Annan normally set up with and that means I've gone with three at the back.

My two centre-halves are going to be Stephen Tulloch (Forfar) and Michael Bolochoweckyj (East Stirling) with our own Aaron Muirhead sweeping behind.

I think that gives the defence a nice mix and I would be confident that they would limit the chances falling to the opposition and be able to build play confidently from the back.

I found the defence the hardest part of my team to pick and didn't intend to have any of my team-mates in the side but I've been really impressed with young Aaron this season.

He has become a bit of a mainstay this season and barring his injury problems I would guarantee he would have collected at least one player of the year award from the supporters.

I do tell him it's the easiest position to play, right enough, but he's young so it pretty much goes in one ear and out the other. He's obviously still learning certain aspects of the position and once he does that and continues to develop he has the potential to make a decent career for himself playing there.

Just don't try telling him that he has made a mistake this season!

I've gone for Tulloch and Bolochoweckyj (Bolo) in front of Aaron. Tulloch is a good solid defender, strong in the tackle and good in the air and I think the two of them would complement each other.

Bolo isn't the biggest but he also wins the majority of his headers (maybe Armand One aside) and likes to play from the back, which is great for the midfield.

I was watching the play-off scores come in on Saturday and I was hoping for Bolo to get a goal or a booking so I could hear Paul Merson attempt to pronounce Bolochoweckyj!

Moving further up the park, I've gone for a midfield four of Keaghan Jacobs, Liam Fox (both Livingston), Jamie Stevenson (East Stirlingshire) and Barry Douglas (Queen's Park).

I don't think any midfield has given us the run-around like Livingston did in our first visit to Almondvale last year and it was pretty much down to Jacobs and Fox. Their runs off the ball are terrific and they were so difficult to mark that day. I think that has been the one and only time in my life I wasn't too disappointed to be taken off during a game!

Jamie Stevenson is a player I have faced a few times and he has always impressed me. He is a player that is so comfortable on the ball and he never panics in possession. Jamie thoroughly deserved his nomination for player of the year.

This brings me on nicely to Barry Douglas as he was my second choice in my nomination for the Third Division. He has been terrific this season in a very good Queen's Park side and the highest compliment I can pay him is that every time we have faced them this season Harry Cairney has identified him as their best player.

I don't expect to be coming up against Barry in the Third Division next season.

Without a doubt that midfield would create chances and I think I've got the three strikers that would finish those off. I've gone for the player of the year Robbie Winters (Livingston), Armand One (Stranraer) and Ross Campbell (Forfar).

I voted for Winters as he has been a danger every time we have faced Livingston this season. He's obviously very experienced and he works very hard for his team.

I have also been very impressed with the way he has conducted himself against us - I've never really heard him moan about a decision that's maybe gone against him and he has always got on with his job in a professional manner.

It would also be very interesting to have him and Bolo in the same changing room after what happened between the two of them earlier in the season.

I was quite surprised not to see Ross Campbell on the shortlist for player of the year as he has scored goals consistently this season. I've known Ross for a few years after facing each other in the East of Scotland League and if anyone has shown you can make the step up from the league then it's him.

Finishing off the strike force and I've plumped for big Armand One. Although he's only played a couple of times against us he has caused us all sorts of problems, scoring a couple of goals along the way.

After our 3-2 victory a few weeks ago Kevin Neilson described him as unplayable, so that's good enough for me!

So there you have it folks, my team of the season from the SFL Third Division. I reckon that team could do a bit of damage - what about you?


  • Comment number 1.

    Good picks. Certainly representative of how the division has gone. Was a shame East Stirling lost in the play-offs as it is amazing how far they have gome in a few seasons when they used to be the perennial wooden spoon team

  • Comment number 2.

    I hope this blog and any related to Scottish League football ceases to exist next season. There is no interest whatsoever as shown by the consistently small amount of comments this blog attracts. Blogs such as Quotes of the Week and Review of the Week are being scrapped and it would be criminal if this one survived.

  • Comment number 3.

    PulpGrape, Behave youself. if you don't like the blog then don't read it.

    Chris - Good choices especially Barry Douglas who is or was being linked to my team St Mirren (i say was as Gus McPherson is no longer the manager).

    I'm a big fan of The lower Leagues and believe there is alot of talent that could make the Grade in the SPL. All you have to do is look at the Dundee Midfield of Gomis, Swanson and Conway.

    Again good blog and keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm french and I read your blog each time. I hope you will continue, because it's captivating

    I'm a QPFC fan, so I'm glad to see Barry Douglas in your this division team of the year. Maybe Derek Ure or Tony Quinn deserve it too.

    Good luck for the next season :)

  • Comment number 6.

    Thanks for the comments as always everyone.



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