The Portsmouth trio who can feel aggrieved not to have made League One Team of the Season
When the League One Team of the Season was announced, it was hardly a surprise Matt Clarke was named in the side.
The centre-back has enjoyed a superb campaign during Pompey’s promotion push and established himself as arguably the best defender in the division.
Regarded as the Blues’ prized asset, Clarke has won more challenges than anyone else in the third tier, according to Playmaker Stats.
And his trademark forays forward never fail to entertain.
If the former Ipswich man had been left out of the XI, furrowed brows would have been pulled aplenty – and not just by members of the Fratton faithful.
Yet Clarke represents the only player from Kenny Jackett’s side in the Team of the Season.
Second-placed Barnsley have four representatives (Adam Davies, Ethan Pinnock, Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan), leaders Luton have three (James Justin, Jack Stacey and James Collins), John Marquis and Herbie Kane feature for Doncaster, while Aidan McGeady is Sunderland’s solitary player.
However, a trio of Pompey players can feel slightly aggrieved not to have made the cut.
Starting with the obvious is Ronan Curtis.
Since arriving Derry City last summer, the winger has firmly established himself as an indispensable player at Fratton Park.
Having previously never played in the Football League before his arrival from the League of Ireland, the 22-year-old has been one of the stars of the division.
He’s scored 12 times and created 15, which has won him his Republic of Ireland senior breakthrough.
There will no doubt be a bevy of potential suitors keeping a close eye on him.
On the opposite flank, Jamal Lowe has been just as important to Jackett’s side.
The former non-league talent has continued his hurtling progress on the south coast since his move from Hampton & Richmond Borough in January 2017.
Lowe is thriving at Fratton Park. At present, he’s the club’s top scorer with 13, while he’s also recorded 11 assists.
During the January transfer window, it was reported top Championship sides Leeds, West Brom and Middlesbrough were interested.
The final Blues player who may have deserved a place in the Team of the Season is Craig MacGillivray.
Considering the Scot didn’t have 30 Football League appearances under his belt when he moved to Pompey is incredible given the season he’s had.
A free transfer from Shrewsbury last summer, MacGillivray has been one of the stand-out performers this term, registering 16 clean sheets.
Confident when coming for crosses, commanding, accurate kicking, the ability to make reflex saves – the 26-year-old has all the attributes you want in a keeper.
How tight the top end of League One is underlines the calibre of players that are in the division this term.
In other years, a quartet of Pompey players could easily have featured in the Team of the Season.