The Championship has been a dogfight for much of the season and picking the team of the year wasn’t much easier.
Half the league has been involved in the relegation battle, while the other half has been contesting the promotion spots.
There are a few standouts, such as the strikers and Josh Mullin, but the rest has been a bit of a headscratcher.
Neil Parry was central to Alloa getting promoted last season and has remained ever-dependable between the posts. He is relied on to make numerous key saves and just beats out the improved Mark Ridgers as my first pick.
The Ayr United duo Liam Smith and Michael Rose deserve recognition, both of whom have earned moves at the end of the season.
Smith is a great outlet for Ayr out wide and supplies the balls for Lawrence Shankland and Michael Moffatt to attack. Rose has benefitted from dropping down the divisions after leaving Aberdeen, playing regular football in a successful side.
Jamie McCart has matured greatly as the season has gone on and ought to be Caley Thistle’s defensive lynchpin of the future. With Coll Donaldson missing time through injury and suspension and Brad McKay often moved to right-back, McCart has been a regular at the heart of the defence and his positional sense and reading of the game catches the eye.
Jackson Longridge has chipped in with goals at left-back for a Dunfermline side that at one stage threatened to make the play-offs.
Josh Mullin was the first name I wrote down and ought to have been in the player of the year running. Thirteen goals and 19 assists for Ross County this season is an astounding set of figures and in the big moments he delivers, either with an assist or a goal.
Liam Polworth got the recognition he deserved with a move to Motherwell after two campaigns of creativity for Caley Thistle. He is approaching 50 assists in all competitions in the last two seasons yet has still, bafflingly, struggled to win over a section of his own support.
Playing alongside Jamie Lindsay in the centre of the park would give Polworth license to roam. Lindsay’s intense, high-pressing game has been integral to County’s 4-4-2 functioning and the fact he has not missed a league game since August underlines the faith in him from the management duo.
Josh Todd, Dario Zanatta, Michael Tidser, Tom Walsh and Aaron Doran all deserve praise for their output this season, while had Fraser Aird continued his performances from the first half of the campaign he’d have been a shoe-in.
However, Michael Gardyne has worked superbly in tandem with Mullin as County’s wide threats this season.
Lawrence Shankland and Stephen Dobbie’s goal tallies speak for themselves. It’s notable that when they don’t score, their team’s performances tail off; Dobbie scored three in 11 before his latest injury and Queens won only one of those games. Shankland scored three in his last nine and Ayr won just two.
Had Billy Mckay remained injury-free there’s a good chance he would have at least matched those two, while Pavol Safranko and Nicky Clark have been reliable in an ever-changing Dundee United.