With the lockdown still in force, it is still a while before we can start thinking about football again – but here at Severn Sport we like to be different! So here is another list of 11 players to watch during the 2020/21 season.
Last week we revealed our U18s Players to Watch for the 2020/21 Season and whilst we were delighted to name the 11 youngsters to watch we thought ‘wait a minute’ and decided to take a look at 11 players who gave themselves a platform to kick on and build next term.
At the End of Season Awards we have a category of Breakthrough Player of the Season, an award to tip the hat to players who used the season to establish themselves at a higher level, new position or new club and this list basically names more of them! As with the U18s post, anyone who was nominated in the End of Season Awards aren’t listed.
This means that Leighton Tuodolo, Jake Rhodes and Levi Irving will go down as honorable mentions!
So here are Ryan’s players to watch:
Luke Soule (Shortwood United) – I’m kicking off with a very decent young striker! Kelsey and I saw Soule score two and have two chalked off in a dominant win at Cirencester Town Development and it was the first time I saw Soule play, but I had heard about him. 25 goals in 33 games in a new and tough league is nothing to be sniffed at one bit!
Jamie Bremner (Brimscombe & Thrupp) – On my shortlist for signing of the season really. This young man is very highly rated at the Meadow and by manager Sam Prior in particular and all you need to do is see him play to understand why. Bremner played a number of positions for Brimscombe and didn’t look out of place anywhere! A bright talent with a big future.
Alex Kibble (Stonehouse Town) – Kibble makes the list here for leading his Stonehouse side into a higher level this season. Stonehouse were always going to be a side to watch after their promotion from the County League and the likes of Kibble settled into the division well. A consistent performer who will be hoping to kick on both individually and as a team.
Luke Merchant (Tuffley Rovers) – Merchant is a goalkeeper I like a lot. He has a big frame, good distribution but he is also a player who needs to make sure he applies himself mentally in order to get the best from him. This season he did that. With Kane Winman at Longlevens Merchant was always going to get the gloves more often than not and that confidence boost was there to see.
Callum Wood (Cinderford Town) – I realised pretty early when making this list that some of the players may not be at the club they played for last season and Callum Wood is one. Personally, nothing will please me more than to see Wood at Causeway next term though. He is quick, strong, good on the ball and as we have seen can support a rampant forward line. A very good asset for Paul Michael to have!
Logan Bowkett (Lydney Town) – Bowkett nearly made the list for U18s, but the Lydney man has been introduced to the side and started 14 times and for a young player that is a good return. He is in a squad with plenty of experience to learn from and Bowkett has given himself a great platform to really build over the next couple of seasons. He was my wildcard pick in this list almost!
Josh Thomas (Gloucester City) – Thomas had been playing at right-back before James Rowe arrived at Gloucester City and whilst the season ended up being a turbulent one, Thomas showed just how good and valuable he can be at National League level when he was switched back to central midfield. He received a number of plaudits from his new manager, fans and Severn Sport commentators from then on.
Dom Kent (Tuffley Rovers) – If I could have nominated two Breakthrough Players of the Season then Dom Kent would have been it. When Kieran Alder departed Glevum Park, we questioned whether the midfield would be creative and attacking enough to see Tuffley continue from their strong end to the 2018/19 season. Kent stepped up and scored 6 crucial goals, but as someone who has seen him come through from U18s level, I am very pleased to see him rack up 31 appearances at Hellenic level!
Tommy Callinan (Longlevens) – Callinan is the Longlevens equivalent to Kent in a sense. Again when Jonty Welch and Dave Rich left Longlevens and with Dave Merrick not playing as much the midfield was in need of stabilising. Between Callinan and captain Shaun O’Connor, Longlevens did that and by having a player like Callinan in there, it freed up the creativity of Severn Sport Player of the Season, Harry Emmett and one of my favourite players, Brad Martin. A great season for Tommy Callinan Jr.
Tristan Haswell (Bishops Cleeve) – My personal quest to be accepted into the Haswell family continues! After including Joe in the U18s list I can’t talk about players that made their mark this season and not mention Tristan Haswell. Since I’ve been covering Gloucestershire football I think this is the first time I have seen Haswell play relatively injury free and he is thriving! A hell of a defender and hopefully he can kick on from here and make up for lost time!
Will Tunnicliff (Cirencester Town) – Tunnicliff is another player who I have seen come through the ranks at Gloucester City U18s and into men’s football. He seems to have settled into life at the Corinium Stadium well this term and with John Brough now at the helm, he is at the right club to really stay focused and build on a decent season in the end for him and the Centurions. He has bags of ability!
And there we have it. 11 players who I believe have what it takes to really push on next season after having very good 2019/20 seasons, regardless of what the expunged results say! Again, like the U18s list I have saved it away for me to revisit to see how I fared.