What a year 2017 was! Not just for us here at Severn Sport but for the whole of Gloucestershire football. Gloucester City have changed leagues, changed managers and changed home stadium. The Southern League had a slight name change and it was all change in the Hellenic Premier, most notably with Mark Moore taking over the managerial reigns at Longlevens.
Here at Severn Sport we experienced the highs and lows with our local sides and have seen some incredible action on the field. We have expanded as a brand and also expanded our coverage down to Hellenic level. We close the year by thanking all of the players, the fans and the personnel we have met throughout this calendar year and as always we thank everyone for the reception we receive at every ground and game we attend.
This season we have acknowledged the players who perform during the Severn Sport featured games each month by naming a team of the month. There is only one way in which we can top off this year and that is to take a look at the team of the month’s and to name our team of the 2017/18 season so far based on those players.
Since August I have become a big nerd for local football and statistics regarding games we have covered at Severn Sport and whether its listing every game we have covered or every player to make the team of the month’s it is logged and archived. Using those archives here is some key statistics regarding the team of the month’s.
– In total there has been 55 different players named in the Severn Sport Team Of The Month spread across 5 months and spread across the first XI & bench appearances.
– Tuffley Rovers forward Shayne Bradley has appeared in the team of the month 4 times, the most of all players.
– A total of 14 different teams have been represented in the team of the month with Longlevens having 14 players included.
– Tuffley Rovers right back Sam Hill has appeared in the starting XI the most times with 3 appearances.
So who has made the team of the season so far. Let’s take a look.
Goalkeeper – Ash Wintle (Longlevens; 2 appearances)
Longlevens brought in Wintle during the summer and he has been assured between the sticks for the majority of the season. He has produced some big performances this term including the history making FA Vase tie at Sevenoaks Town.
Right Back – Sam Hill (Tuffley Rovers; 3 appearances)
The best right I have seen this season in terms of ability and consistency. Being honest, he could have appeared on more occasions that the three so far.
Centre Back – Chris Greenhough (Brimscombe & Thrupp; 2 appearances)
One of the best defenders this county has to offer this season. A man mountain at the back and an unbelievable leader to a Brimscombe side who have been superb this season.
Centre Back – Craig Martin (Longlevens; 2 appearances)
Longlevens’ assistant manager was injured at the start of the season and was eager to make up for lost time. Martin has had to be a jack of all trades with his most recent run seeing him up front. A naturally gifted defender with such unnatural mobility.
Left Back – Max Harper-Emerson (Slimbridge AFC; 1 appearance)
The public have spoken and winning the poll by 10 clear votes is Slimbridge utility man Max Harper-Emerson. We have seen him play in a number of positions for the Swans and he peforms in every single one. He impressed us when slotting in at left back for one and half games in October and has done enough to win the public vote.
Right Midfield – Lee Smith (Fairford Town; 2 appearances)
Smith makes the squad on the basis of he has played right wing for Fairford on a number of occasions in front of us and his work rate sets him head and shoulders above some of his younger counterparts. Deadly in and around the box this season.
Centre Midfield – Noah Smerdon (Gloucester City U18s; 2 appearances)
Since Smerdon was first named in the team of the month I have received a lot of questions about him. Quite simply, this young man has the brightest of futures in the game. His ability as both a midfielder and a defender is astounding. He has a mature head on his shoulders and can go a very long way.
Centre Midfield – Ed Williams (Gloucester City; 1 appearance)
Ed Williams beats Brimscombe midfielder John Evans into the squad, just. Williams has been the one bright spark on a very dim and dull season for Gloucester City. Williams has been involved in most of Gloucester’s goals and every time I have seen him he has been at the heart of everything good about City going forward.
Left Midfield – Marley Thomas (Slimbridge AFC; 1 appearance)
Here at Severn Sport we have described Marley Thomas as a superstar in the making and I can only echo that sentiment. A match winner. Redditch Town manager Tim Harris is a very big admirer of this young man and would ask us our opinions. He is that type of player that gets the fans in attendance off their seats and gets them talking. A big reputation destined to only grow.
Striker – Shayne Bradley (Tuffley Rovers; 4 appearances)
The big man Shayne Bradley has been rolling back the years this season, with match winning goals and an increase to match fitness the secret to his success. Bradley is one of the most important cogs in the Tuffley Rovers machine and continues to play out of his skin…especially when Severn Sport is in attendance.
Striker – Brad Martin (Longlevens; 2 appearances)
Brad Martin completes a Longlevens hattrick and deservedly so. He has scored 19 goals at the half way point in the season and what has impressed me the most about him is the kind of goals he is scoring. I have seen him score the physical goals where he holds off a defender before finishing, I’ve seen him score traditional striker finishes in and around the 6 yard box, I’ve seen headers, free kicks and worldies a like. He also has a very nice touch for a big man.
And that is the team. Giving recognition to the Hellenic sides who have produced so much quality in front of Severn Sport this season. Here is to more to come! Before we show you the team in its glory as always this side needs a manager and I am giving it to Mark Moore at Longlevens. It was close between Moore and Brimscombe manager Sam Prior but the simple fact that Longlevens made so much history in the FA Cup & FA Vase whilst starting so strongly in the league, you cannot ignore or overlook the man who only took the helm at Saw Mills this summer. A fitting way to end the team I feel.
Here is the team in all its glory:
Again, we thank you, our audience for all of the support and feedback we have had during 2017 as a whole. We have a lot planned for 2018 and will be continuing to grow as a brand and will remain fearless to trying out new things whether that’s new sports, new ideas or new opportunities. Have a great 2018 all of you!!
We also particularly would like to thank our sponsors Spikes Diner at Fairford Town & Macron Store Gloucester for their continued backing and support this season.