It’s almost halfway through the season and due to the ice and snow I have a clear Saturday. I thought it might be of interest to some of my readers, to reflect with me on who they’d have in their non league team of the season, at this stage.
My choices are based upon purely my own opinions and performances in games I have seen this season. As my reader you can and indeed should, disagree with me. I want this blog to prompt you to think about the games you’ve seen and to reflect on who has truly showed a football brain, vision and technical skills or fortitude, that made them stand out.
My first choice is in goal…. I have seen an array of shot stopping talent, in the 64 games I’ve watched since July 2nd 2022. Despite this I can name one person whose performance stood out and who made one of the best saves I’ve seen at this level, to cap off a flawless performance.
George Legg was in goal for Peckham Town when I saw them beat Kings Hill four nil, at the Menace Arena in the Kent County Premier League. Legg’s positional play, confidence in managing his defence and his shot stopping, all went through to indicate there is more to come from this talented player, now a regular at Peckham Town.
At right back I have seen few better than Stansfeld’s Joe Borland. I watched him play in a fine away win at Whitstable, as well as a home thumping of local rivals, Glebe FC. Borland’s positional play and tackling are astute and ferocious and he is deservedly in my team of the season. Borland plays in the highly competitive Southern Counties East Football League (Premier Division).
At left back, I again name a player, who I saw play just once this season. I went to see Hinckley FC play, as I was up in the Leicestershire area as I drove my daughter to University in Leeds. The game I saw was notable for a debut performance, by the 16 year old, Marley Sweeney-Rowe, and again, with his energy, defensive contribution and his match winning cross for his teammate to head the winner, he walks into my team of the season to date, before we even consider it was his first full game and his young age.
My centre backs are also a tricky choice, but in the end my first slot goes to a flexible midfielder who can also play at the back. Larkfield & New Hythe are sitting high in the SCEFL Division 1 table this season and in no small part due to the work and talents of Captain, Stuart West. West is a tough tackler and can also pass with accuracy, as well as adding valuable goals.
Alongside West at the back I’d jump up to the National League South, to pick Dartford’s Tom Bonner. Bonner is calm, collected, confident in the air and a consummate professional. I saw him play just a week ago against Bath City and at no point, did it appear that the opposition were going to find a way past Dartford FC’s Mr Reliable.
So to date – we have a back four and a keeper. Tomorrow I’ll post the midfield and forward line. Thus far do you agree with me or have you your own choices? Either way tomorrow will bring more thought and more discussion and I’d welcome your posted comments on the blog site or on my Twitter page.