The Top 10 players in each division of the npower Football League, as chosen by the respective division’s managers, have been announced following Sunday’s Football League Awards, which saw Matej Vydra (npower Championship), Matt Ritchie (npower League 1) and Tom Pope (npower League 2) crowned The Football League’s Players of the Year.
In the lead-up to the event, managers from the npower Championship, npower League 1 and npower League 2 were asked to name the best five players in their division (excluding those at their own club). The Football League can now reveal which players have caught their eye this season.
In the Championship, Crystal Palace have two players in the top four, with the prolific Glenn Murray in second and Wilfried Zaha in fourth – either side of Young Player of the Year Thomas Ince of Blackpool. Leicester City captain Wes Morgan’s fine season for The Foxes sees him take fifth place, one ahead of his young team mate, striker Chris Wood. The Cardiff City trio of Craig Bellamy, Mark Hudson and Peter Whittingham take the next three spots, with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Liam Bridcutt completing the Top 10.
The competitiveness of npower League 1 this season is reflected in eight clubs being represented in the Top 10. Notts County’s stylish midfielder Alan Judge is in second, ahead of Coventry City’s Leon Clarke. Luke Murphy of Johnstone’s Paint Trophy finalists Crewe Alexandra is fourth, while talented young Sheffield United defender Harry Maguire’s continued development sees him make the top five. It’s been a real breakthrough season for Walsall’s former trainee striker Will Grigg who is named in sixth place, one ahead of the second AFC Bournemouth player on the list, Harry Arter. Paddy Madden’s spectacular season in front of goal for Yeovil Town sees him take eighth place, with Coventry City’s Carl Baker and Brentford’s Clayton Donaldson completing the Top 10.
In npower League 2, Pope is joined on the list by his Port Vale team mate Jennison Myrie-Williams in fifth. Exeter City’s veteran striker, Jamie Cureton takes second place, while Bradford City’s historic run to the Capital One Cup Final sees three Bantams players make the Top 10. Captain Gary Jones leads the way in third place, one ahead of young forward Nahki Wells. Wells’ strike partner James Hanson also makes the list in ninth. Midfielder Jacques Maghoma of Burton Albion, and forward Britt Assombalonga, on loan at Southend United from Watford, take sixth and seventh spots on the list. npower League 2 leaders Gillingham have defender Adam Barrett in tenth place.
The final tables are as follows:
1 Matej Vydra Watford
2 Glenn Murray Crystal Palace
3 Thomas Ince Blackpool
4 Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace
5 Wes Morgan Leicester City
6 Chris Wood Leicester City
7 Craig Bellamy Cardiff City
8 Mark Hudson Cardiff City
9 Peter Whittingham Cardiff City
10 Liam Bridcutt Brighton & Hove Albion
npower League 1:
1 Matt Ritchie AFC Bournemouth
2 Alan Judge Notts County
3 Leon Clarke Coventry City
4 Luke Murphy Crewe Alexandra
5 Harry Maguire Sheffield United
6 Will Grigg Walsall
7 Harry Arter AFC Bournemouth
8 Paddy Madden Yeovil Town
9 Carl Baker Coventry City
10 Clayton Donaldson Brentford
npower League 2:
1 Tom Pope Port Vale
2 Jamie Cureton Exeter City
3 Gary Jones Bradford City
4 Nahki Wells Bradford City
5 Jennison Myrie-Williams Port Vale
6 Jacques Maghoma Burton Albion
7 Britt Assombalonga Southend United
8 Chris Hackett Northampton Town
9 James Hanson Bradford City
10 Adam Barrett Gillingham