Ed Dominic Roman (@DomRoman) and new contributor Sam Swann (@SamSwanny99) round-up the final ‘TT Player Ratings’ for 17-18 and comment on each player, the first part is Goalkeepers and Defenders*:
(*NOTES – Each position is separated out into 10 games+ and others. Scores shown are the average of the TT Match Verdict ratings out of 10 for all fixtures 17-18)
Vincent Dorel: TT Rating: 6.5 Man of the Match: 4
DR – Let’s forget the Guiseley game last week shall we! The odd mistake apart, the Frenchman has really impressed me since arriving in September. We needed cover with Clarke out, and he stepped in admirably. The goalkeeper is agile and generally assured on crosses; I’d imagine he wasn’t far off pipping Luke Young in the Player of the Season vote. Will the NLS offer Vincent enough incentive to stay? Let’s hope so, as I don’t think we’ll find many better keepers where we’re going!
SS – The one player who for me fully deserves any credit. He is a very good all-around goalkeeper with a fantastic attitude. I personally believe he is good enough to be a football league goalkeeper. I would like to wish him the best of luck for the rest of his career as I highly doubt he will stay as much as I would love him too.
Ryan Clarke: 5.5 MOTM: 3
SS – Despite a promising start the decision to give a declining an unfit 35-year-old a 2-year deal is a very bad decision. Looked very solid at the start of the season but since his injury, he has looked very uncomfortable in goal. Over the course of the season, the mistakes started to creep in and he lost all control and authority of his box.
Dan Lavercombe: 2.5
DR – His return looked a decent bit of business to deputise for Clarke. Two terrible games and a goal conceded from the opposition goalkeeper quickly showed otherwise.
Josh Gowling: TT Rating: 6.6 MOTM: 2
DR – Much of our woes this season have centred around the injuries to big Josh, and there have been plenty of them. Gowling is just not up to playing 30+ games in a season and every other match seemed to bring more pain to the centre back. When fit; Josh stood head and shoulders above the rest of the back four. We instantly looked more assured with his leadership, aggression and understanding of the game – you can certainly see why Nicho brought him in, but in reality we signed him a couple of years too late.
SS – Unpopular decision, but I am just not a fan. He looked good at the start of the season, however, injuries and a clear fallout with Owers meant his heart wasn’t in it. Additionally, he was weak in the tackle and poor in the air for a centre back. For me, that late mistake at Maidstone confirmed my doubts about him.
Michee Efete: 6.3 MOTM: 1
DR – Michee has simply been one of my favourite players to pull on the yellow shirt this season. He’s had his ups and downs at Plainmoor; but is a big, strong and powerful guy who marauds up the flank with ease! Having Balatoni picked ahead of him must have been a real kick in the teeth for Michee and he’s barely played recently. I think he’ll go onto better things and I’m sure he’ll be glad to make his way back to Norwich City this summer.
SS – Similar to Barnes, I have been impressed by his attitude and ability this season. I felt it was a stupid decision to play Balatoni over him at crucial times this season. Decent overall defender, he should forge a decent career for himself.
Liam Davis: 6.0 MOTM: 4
DR – Early season brought a constant stream of “When’s Davis going to actually play?” questions. He finally arrived and was pretty much immaculate, in one of better periods of the season (better…not good mind). Tall and elegant, the full back looked the part. Unfortunately as the campaign wore on his performance became inconsistent, with lethargy creeping into his game and his crossing rarely finding the mark. He’s clearly still a good player though and fits in well at wing back – I don’t think we’ll find anyone better in that position going forward.
SS – The most inconsistent player of the season for me. At times he has shown some great skill, however, a lot of mistakes and a total lack of an end product means he hasn’t achieved what he should have done this season. If he decides to stay he will be a useful player if he is used in a more advanced role.
Ryan Higgins: 5.9 MOTM: 1
DR – Right-back problems seemed to be a thing of the past when Higgins got stuck into pre-season action. He initially ticked all the boxes, but errors crept in and eventually health matters got the better of him. A real shame as Ryan was a rough diamond, who could have had a fine career with the right coaching.
Aaron Barnes: 5.7
DR – Barnes didn’t do badly in his time at Plainmoor, his midfield displays showed a willingness to get stuck in and at right wing-back he had the engine to get up and down. Not a stand-out performer and he’ll have to improve to make it as a league player; the potential is though and I wish him well.
SS – Good player, with a good attitude. Scored that cracking goal at Maidenhead, I reckon he could have a decent career.
Sean McGinty: 5.5 MOTM: 2
DR – Oh Sean it’s not been your season has it. At the end of 2016-17 I thought Gints trajectory would only point upwards, how wrong was I. The centre back did to his credit battle his way through the whole season and took on the mantle of captain. Unfortunately he just wasn’t ready for it, and the odd solid display has been mixed in with too much shambolic defending and jitters. After his jeers from the Pop last week I’d be surprised if he stayed. A settled team with an experienced manager may yet get the best out of him, letting him concentrate on his game and surrounding Sean with better players.
SS – Well, one player I feel I have a mostly unpopular opinion of not rating him at all. He has had good games and is brave however his non-existent football brain and arrogant attitude has cost us a lot this season. There is a reason he has gone from being a player signed by Sir Alex for a million pounds at the age of 16 to being a substandard National League player.
Conrad Balatoni: 5.1 MOTM: 1
DR – Conrad was brought in to help steady the defensive ship after continual wobbles over Xmas and the new year. Unfortunately his lack of match fitness only made things worse, and we were debating whether he was the slowest player to ever don the yellow shirt – quite some accolade for a defender who looks a lot older than his years!
SS – One of the biggest disappointments of the season, he looked awful in just about every department. He was slow, poor in the tackle, rubbish on the ball and very error-prone. Painful to watch, how can a player with this background be so awful?
Jacub Sokolik: 5.6
SS – Only had the chance to watch him once, he looked very poor. Easy to criticise Nicholson’s signings but like Balatoni this is another bad piece of judgment by Owers.
Myles Anderson: 4.3
SS – I don’t know how to sum up his performances this season, he was just absolutely abysmal. It’s impressive that a player could be more of an embarrassment than Balatoni. The own goal at Gateshead or the gift at home to Macclesfield will be candidates for the next Christmas football fails DVD.
Alex Oskar Andresson: 5.0
DR – The defender played a few nondescript games on loan towards the end of 2017, and then decided TUFC wasn’t for him – to be honest I couldn’t blame him!
Alex Davey: 6.5
DR – At the end of November the team actually looked solid, with Alex arriving as a calming presence on loan and playing great against Sutton, Leyton Orient and Aldershot. Then it went pear-shaped in December as he was shifted across the back three, before reneging on a gentleman’s handshake to scuttle off to Boreham Wood.
Chinua Cole: 7.8 MOTM: 1
SS – I know he got released when Owers took over, but I was really impressed by the two games I saw. He had great work rate and was brave and lively going forward. I was disappointed to see him go, especially when Owers played Anderson left back the following game.
Jazzi Barnum-Bobb: 5.4
DR – The most ridiculously named player to ever play for TUFC? I should coco. Jazzi was pacey up the wing, dreadful at crossing and left after a straight red card in the FA Trophy – fond memories!
Jordan Lee: 5.5
DR – The loan signing of Jordan Lee in the summer looked a real bonus for Nicho. He played a couple in August then suffered health issues and never wore the yellow shirt again. A real shame, and just another sad foot-note of a dreadful season.