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Daniel Mackay’s Caley Thistle form scores striker place in the Championship side of the season

Daniel MacKay celebrates scoring against Raith Rovers.
Daniel MacKay celebrates scoring against Raith Rovers for ICT.

Daniel Mackay’s sizzling form for Caley Thistle last season earned him a place in the best Championship side for 2020/21.

Nine goals and some sizzling displays, including a wonderful goal against Ross County in the Scottish Cup, earned the 20-year-old a switch to Premiership side Hibs this summer.

Mackay, who developed well while on loan at League Two Elgin City, made his Scotland under-21 debut against Northern Ireland earlier this month.

He was called up alongside his now former Inverness team-mates Roddy MacGregor, Cameron Harper and Robbie Deas.

Mackay impressed national under-21 boss Scot Gemmill, who said after the 3-2 win: “Daniel was running full-on in the end and I just said to them (the players) that I don’t miss anything like that.

“That is what’s required to win. He wasn’t just running about crazily. He was running with intent and trying to do a job for the team.”

Hibs agreed a “significant immediate and future package” for the young forward, who had one year remaining on his contract at the Highland capital club.

Mackay, who broke through the youth system at ICT, played 57 times for the first-team, scoring 12 goals overall.

Mackay helped side rise into play-off contention

The flair player was the only Caley Jags player to make the team, which finished fifth in the table, missing out on the promotion play-offs by just three points.

Mackay’s ever-improving form was a factor in the team rising from the lower reaches of the table to being one win shy of making the play-offs.

It was a season not only shortened by Covid-10 to just 27 league games, but saw boss John Robertson take time out in February for compassionate reasons.

Neil McCann was in interim charge of ICT from February until the end of the season.

Neil McCann took on the interim role until the end of the term, boosted by the recruitment of Billy Dodds as his assistant, boosting the coaching team of Barry Wilson and Ryan Esson.

Robertson returned to the club as sporting director and Dodds has since taken on the head coach position. His first bit of business this week saw Tom Walsh return to the Caledonian Stadium, having been at Ayr United for a year.

Trio of Rovers make the team

The SPFL Championship team of the season was: Craig Gordon (Hearts), Reghan Tumilty (Raith Rovers), Lee Ashcroft (Dundee), Ayo Obileye (Queen of the South), Kieran MacDonald (Raith Rovers), Paul McMullan (Dundee), Regan Hendry (Raith Rovers), Charlie Adam (Dundee), Daniel Mackay (Inverness CT), Liam Boyce (Hearts), Connor Shields (Queen of the South).

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