Non-league Select XI of the Season

CHOOSING the eleven players who make up my Select XI of the Season was no easy matter.

Picking players in some positions was easier than others, but narrowing my choice down to the final 16 players, to include five substitutes, was difficult indeed.

The only criteria for selection was that players have to live in the Ipswich Star’s circulation area.

The only other stipulation was that no more than four players from any one club could be included in the final squad.

Don’ forget that selection is based on what I have ‘Scene & Heard’ during the course of the past ten months as I have gone around the Eastern Counties watching matches every week. My team is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Marcus Garnham (Bury Town): Has had an excellent season between the posts.

Right back: Ollie Brown (Whitton Utd): Surely destined to play at a higher level.

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Centre back: David Head (Leiston): Skipper as reliable as ever for champions.

Centre back: Tom Bullard (Bury Town): Tower of strength in centre of defence.

Left back: Ryan Stafford (Woodbridge Town): Class act – just like his father Clive.

Right midfield: Leon Ottley-Gooch (Leiston): Tremendous athlete, improving all the time.

Centre midfield: Bradley Barber (Needham Market): Great vision and passing ability.

Centre midfield: Stuart Boardley (Leiston): Terrific left foot and quality performer

Left midfield: Ben Newson (Stanway Rovers): Phenomenal work rate and goals to add.

Striker: Sam Newson (Needham Market): Ditto his twin brother.

Striker: Ollie Mann (Brantham Athletic): Holds ball up well and great goalscorer.

Substitutes: Ryan Bedingfield (Brantham Athletic, goalkeeper), Pip Boyland (Needham Market, centre back), Rhys Henry (Leiston, right midfield), Ben Deacon (Hadleigh Utd, striker), James Hubbard (Woodbridge Town, striker).

I am sure you will all have your own thoughts – I wouldn’t expect anyone to come close to matching my final selection – and no doubt it will provoke some discussion among players and followers of non-league football.