As the 2018-19 season comes to a climatic end, we take a look at a five man shortlist for Barnsley`s player of the season award. This shortlist is purely on our opinion but we are looking for Tyke fans to comment on this list and if you have a different opinion, to share your thoughts.
The Barnsley captain has had a very solid season culminating in being picked in the EFL League One team of the season. Add a call up to Ryan Giggs Wales squad and helping to keep twenty clean sheets in the league, it certainly has been a great year for the goalkeeper. Davies has made some important saves notably at home to Doncaster where he made several stops at the end of the game, to earn his side a point. In the return fixture at the Keepmoat, Davies kept his side in the game with a string of fine saves and he was unlucky not to win the Sky man of the match award that evening. An equally impressive performance came at the end of the Coventry City draw at Oakwell, where once again, Davies pulled off some fine saves to stop the Sky Blues from winning late on. A penalty save away at fellow promotion contenders, Portsmouth won the reds a vital away point. Davies made his 200th appearance for the reds this season and is worthy of his place in the EFL team of the season.
Another player who has had a very impressive season is the rock at the heart of the Barnsley defence, Ethan Pinnock. Rising through the lower leagues, Pinnock would not look out of place in the Championship or maybe even the premier league such has been his steady and calming performances for Daniel Stendels side. We dedicated a whole article on Pinnock here, where we catalogued the defenders strengths. A calming figure who glides across the pitch. Who is equally capable against a big strong centre forward or a quicker front man, Pinnock is also good in the air. It is no surprise that during the January window he was heavily linked with moves to Championship clubs. Another reason why Barnsley have been so tight defensively is down to Pinnock and he, like Davies, fully deserves the recognition of being picked in the EFL League One team of the season.
Whilst many plaudits rightly go to Ethan Pinnock at the heart of the Barnsley defence, many supporters also correctly state that much praise is due to Pinnocks defensive partner, Liam Lindsay. Another quality defender who deserves praise for the way he has performed all season in a red shirt. Good in the air, but also comfortable bringing the ball out of defence, Lindsay has attracted interest from the likes of Aston Villa this season. Quietly going about his business, Lindsay often goes under the radar but he consistently scores 7 or 8 out of 10 every week, something that should not go unnoticed.
Another Barnsley player who made it into the EFL League One team of the year, Mowatt has consistently been the driving force in the reds midfield. With a sweet left foot, an ability to spread play with quick short range passing and an eye for a defence splitting pass, Alex Mowatt has had a fantastic season for the Tykes. A combative midfielder who drags his side through games. Never shirking wanting the ball, he demands a pass and is often orchestrating many of Barnsleys attacks. Working in a busy midfield, Mowatt rarely wastes a pass and is often found loitering around the edge of the opposition penalty area for a pull back and a shot at goal. People talk of midfielders with “good engines”, well Mowatt has just that. Snapping in the tackle, winning the ball back, breaking up opposition attacks then starting and ending his side`s attacks, Alex Mowatt has it all.
Cauley Woodrow brings to Barnsley the premier league and championship experience to mix well with the youth in the side. Scoring 17 goals so far this season, he has been one of the reasons why the Tykes sit in an automatic play off spot. Forging a good understanding with fellow striker, Kieffer Moore, Woodrow can operate in a partnership or as a lone striker. Once Moore was ruled out for the season after a nasty head injury, the onus has been on Woodrow to find the net. Despite this pressure, Woodrow has consistently caused defences problems and links up well with the midfield. Despite being only 24 years old, Woodrow brings a premier league experience to the young squad and his goals have been vital in keeping Barnsley ahead of the chasing pack.
You may wonder why we left out the likes of Cameron McGeehan, Mamadou Thiam, Dimitri Cavare or Jacob Brown? Manager Daniel Stendel should take the paludits for motivating and progressing these players, which makes it difficult for us to narrow the list down to just five. McGeeham has worked tirelessly in midfield along with Mowatt and fully deserves all the praise. He was missed in the midfield when suspended recently. McGeehan has also been picked for the EFL team of the season which shows how well he has played this season. Thiam and Cavare both offer an excitement and unpredictability in their attacking that excites supporters. Jacob Brown has come on in leaps and bounds as the season has progressed and deserves praise for the way he has worked hard at making the wide role his own.
Our choice for player of the season goes to Ethan Pinnock.
So we throw this vote out to yourselves. Do you agree or disagree with our shortlist? If you disagree, who should be in the top 5?