Top three: Players of the Football League
The three divisions below the Premier League have been the breeding ground of a new host of stars this season
As the season draws to a close and the finals of the Football League play-offs take place in Wembley, it gives the Football League the exposure it both truly deserves and desperately needs.
It was a very impressive season across all three divisions, which entertained us all, saw Bradford City reach the League Cup final and a number of extremely gifted players made themselves known to a wider audience - causing transfer talk and speculation of big money moves.
Here we look at the top three players in each league that has been the most impressive.
Tom Ince | Blackpool
Like father, like son. The younger Ince has set the Championship alight this season with his father at the helm of the Seasiders, it was Tom’s goals that guided a struggling Blackpool to a respectable finish.
Ince should have absolutely no regrets about leaving his parent club Liverpool as his career has come on leaps and bounds since his arrival at Bloomfield Road and his 18 league goals this season have made sure there will be plenty of suitors vying for his signature this summer.
Matej Vydra | Watford FC
The on-loan Czech international has been a revelation since his arrival in Hertfordshire in 2012, he has been the most vital of the borrowed contingent at Vicarage Road, banging in 20 goals leading Watford to the play-off final and picking up personal awards along the way.
If Watford have any Premier League aspirations this man is the key to their survival and they must hang onto him for another year at least.
Glen Murray | Crystal Palace
Murray’s footballing tale is has been one of rags to riches after beginning his playing days in the non-leagues and American side Wilmington Hammerheads, the 29-year old English man could be plying his trade in the Premier League next season.
Although teammate Wilfred Zaha has gained much of the headlines for his silky displays, Murray has gone about his own business poaching goals and putting the hard graft, a mighty 30 goals this season which would lead to comparisons being made between Murray and on-loan Palace man Kevin Phillips but only time will tell if he can take his career to the next level.
Paddy Madden | Yeovil Town
The Irishman has hit a purple patch this season since his switch from Carlisle United; the former Bohemians man has been invaluable to the Glovers in their promotion push chipping in with 23 goals, which have helped them take their place in the Championship for the first time in their history.
Harry Forrester | Brentford
One of the few people to turn down Ajax of Amsterdam in favour of scenic Brentford, but the former Aston Villa trainee has put in some impressive performances this season including some heroics in the FA Cup tie against European champions Chelsea, the 22-year-old has pulled the strings in the Bees midfield contributing eight goals.
The future looks bright for the former England U-17 man, and it won’t be long before the big boys come knocking.
Wes Foderingham | Swindon Town
The former Fulham trainee has been a safe pair of hands this season, putting in some stellar performances, keeping 14 clean sheets and being named in the League One team of the season.
Foderingham has put past disputes with now ex-manager Paolo DiCanio behind him to become a consistent rock at the back for the Robins year with many bigger clubs eyeing up the former England U-19 keeper.
Nakhi Wells | Bradford City
The tricky Bermudan has made this season his own, impressing on the way to Wembley against Aston Villa and Arsenal.
The former Ajax triallist has set the basement division on fire establishing a prolific “little and large” partnership with former shelf-stacker James Hanson between them notching up 28 league goals, chipping in during the 3-0 play-off final rout of Northampton Town.
Jacques Maghoma | Burton Albion
The former Spurs man has been linked with Hamburg and a whole host of other clubs during his career, a DR Congo international; he has been a joy to watch, grabbing 16 league goals form himself while linking up with fellow countryman Calvin Zola.
When these two are on form the Brewers become too hot to handle and some days even unplayable, and it was their goals that pushed Albion to the League Two play-offs.
Tom Pope | Port Vale
A Crewe Alexandra academy product, Pope has been vital to Port Vale’s promotion push, nabbing himself 31 goals and the League Two player of the year gong while he was at it.
After years of plying his trade in the non-leagues, Pope has finally got his career back on track putting legal troubles and goal droughts behind him. At 27 he should be reaching his peak and he may use his time with the Valiant’s as a springboard to bigger and better things.
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