With the 2018/19 season thankfully at an end, it’s time to look back over the past 10 months and see which player was the standout throughout the season, who stood out among the younger players in Richie Wellens’ squad and who’s game improved the most over the season.
Player of the Season
When the news broke last summer that Peterborough had released the midfielder all Town fans cried out in one voice to re-sign the 26-year-old, as he had impressed over two previous loan spells.
Thankfully in late July the former QPR man made his return to SN1. Despite having a poor transfer window overall last summer Phil Brown pulled off a real coup in bringing back such a talented player, who could’ve easily made his way into most League One sides.
His time back in a Swindon shirt kicked-off in perfect fashion as his hat-trick helped Town start the season with a 3-2 win over newly promoted Macclesfield Town.
Unfortunately due to injuries we didn’t see enough of the clubs best player as he featured in just 30 league games, leaving a big void in the side whenever he was on the treatment table. But despite this he still managed 14 goals in all competitions, mostly from the penalty spot.
Last week we heard the welcome news that the club is working on extending Doughty’s contract, hopefully this will be announced soon and Richie Wellens can begin to plan and build his team around the clubs player of the season.
Young Player of the Season
This category was not as clear-cut this season as we’ve seen a few Under-21 players make their mark in the first team.
Ellis Iandolo, Joe Romanski and Sol Pryce have all contributed in different ways over the past 10 months, but after breaking into the first team, making 19 appearances and scoring his first goals for the club in both league and cup, Scott Twine has made the biggest impact this season.
After being loaned out to Waterford to help his development I was pleased to see the striker extend his current deal by a further two-and-a-half-years, hopefully this means we will see Richie Wellens give the young striker a chance to show he can contribute to a side pushing for promotion.
Most Improved Player
Again this category wasn’t as straightforward with a number of players progressing as time went on throughout the season, such as Kyle Knoyle, Kaiyne Woolery and Candice Carroll.
But ultimately it had to be Dion Conroy for the way he had fought his way back from a terrible injury that has ended many careers over the years, to now being one of the first names on the managers team sheet.
When Dion first arrived from Chelsea he hit the ground running and looked a smart piece of business by the chairman, but when that came to a shuddering halt in 2017 it was difficult to know if the club would have the same player back when he recovered.
In the first few months of the season the signs didn’t look great with some poor performances mixed in with niggling injuries keeping him from regular football, but since he regained his place in late October we’ve seen the reemergence of a talented young defender who’s keen eye for a pass and reading of the game has made him a first team regular.
With Dion’s contract coming to an end soon, the club has offered him a new deal to extend his time at the County Ground. Hopefully we will see him commit himself to the club and play a vital role in getting Town promoted out of the basement of the Football League next season.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for reading my thoughts throughout this season across both the Gazette & Herald and Trust STFC, and a big thank you to the Trust for giving me a new home back in January.
Let’s hope the manager creates a new squad over the next few months that will finally see us compete for one of the automatic promotion spots in League Two next season. Judging by his work in the January transfer window I’m confident the squad we see next season will do exactly that.