The football season’s nearly over but Ed White examines who would make the grade in a White Stuff dream-team.
Thrills and spills have entertained us across all the local leagues this season.
But which footballers have shone during the campaign? This week, I reveal my Team of the Season in a sturdy 4-4-2 system.
Goalkeeper – Peter Crook (Harrogate Railway) - When Billy Miller secured Crook’s services, he couldn’t have wished for more. His saves have been pivotal to securing Railway a midtable position and his pin-point distribution have started many a counter-attack.
Unlucky to miss out: Craig MacGillivray (Harrogate Town)
Right-back – Rob Mortimer (Ripon City) - His boss Charlie Brown says he could play leagues above the West Yorkshire Premier, and I have to agree. Strong in defence and workmanlike trooping forward. City’s star of the season.
Unlucky to miss out: Stu Berry (Bardsey)
Left-back – Dave Merris (Town) - Having played 378 games for Town, experience is very much on the 33-year-old’s side. He’s the Mr Consistent of the changing room and his tenacious style and presence remain vital.
Unlucky to miss out: Matt McGlinchey (Ripon)
Centre-back – Denny Ingram (Tadcaster Albion) - The veteran defender has been a mainstay alongside Matt Sparkes in the NCEL Premier’s meanest defence this year. His positioning and leadership were vital to Albion’s 24-match unbeaten run before Christmas.
Unlucky to miss out: Matt Sparkes (Tadcaster Albion)
Centre-back – Shane Killock (Harrogate Town) Captain - Perhaps the biggest indication of how good Killock has been, was how Town missed him when injured. A rock for Simon Weaver in the 30 games he started, and he scored four goals at the other end too.
Unlucky to miss out: Michael Mills (Bardsey)
Right-wing – Rob Youhill (Harrogate Railway) - Youhill has tantalised defences in the Evo-Stik First Division North all season, and has attracted interest from the top sides in the division. Released by Town last season, Miller gave him a new lease of life, and a job, to roam down the wings. He has repaid him no end.
Unlucky to miss out: Col Hunter (Railway)
Left-wing – Rob Dickinson (Bardsey)- Suspensions and availability issues meant Dickinson has only played 22 games this season, but his 18 goals have led Bardsey to a fourth title in five years. Boss Lee Barraclough has switched him from up front to the wing, but his class at West Yorkshire League level has shone through.
Unlucky to miss out: Byron Littlefair (Knaresborough)
Centre-midfield – James McDaid (Boroughbridge, Ripon City) -His form at the start of the season alone nailed down a central midfield berth. The former Boroughbridge captain dramatically moved to rivals Ripon City mid-season but continued his fine scoring form, netting 18 goals in total from midfield.
Unlucky to miss out: Adam Nowakowski (Town)
Centre-midfield: Nick Thompson (Tadcaster Albion) - At the heart of everything for Tadcaster Albion, with his all-action performances and driving runs from midfield. In true Louis Walsh fashion, “He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard.”
Unlucky to miss out: Nathan Cartman (Railway)
Striker: Colin Heath (Knaresborough Town) - The former Manchester United trainee replaced the loss of Craig Heard and Steve Bromley up front for Knaresborough and his goals, 26 of them in all competitions, have taken the club into a historic League Cup final.
Unlucky to miss out: Ashley Worsfold (Town)
Striker: Carl Stewart (Tadcaster Albion) - Paul Marshall promised Carl Stewart would bring 30 goals to his side after the forward re-joined from Ossett Albion. Stewart delivered with aplomb despite struggling with a knee injury earlier in the season. Two games without a goal is a lean spell for the hitman.
Unlucky to miss out: Chris Hall (Town).