It’s time again for Gladiators fans to vote for their Player Of The Year with the award gain being sponsored by the Matlock Mercury.

After a successful 2016/17 campaign, the boys in blue have found the going much tougher this season and joint managers Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins departed the DCJ Group Arena towards the end of March.

Since then interim boss Dave Hoole, assisted by injured top scorer Shaun Harrad and skipper Adam Yates, have steadied the ship, winning three and drawing one of their first four matches in charge.

So who are the runners and riders to succeed goalkeeper Phil Barnes this time?

Barnes has again had a good season but picked up an injury in early February which prompted the loan signing of Richard Walton from Lincoln City.

Jake Green has impressed whether deployed in either of the full back positions or in an attacking wide right position.

Yates is always a contender having passed the 400 appearance mark for Town at the end of September while Dwayne Wiley had a great start to the campaign before Matlock suffered defensively conceding an average of nearly three goals per game during January and early February.

In midfield Joe Doyle-Charles and Michael Williams are starting to hit the heights of last season, particularly during recent weeks while Ted Cribley is beginning to look more like his old self once again.

The final contender is striker Harrad who will collect the Steven Greenhough top goalscorer award barring an unprecedented run from the likes of Ricardo German and Harry Limb. Where would the Gladiators be without his twenty plus goals haul?

But the decision is yours and you can see the award presented at the club’s Presentation Night on Friday 4 May in the Shorts Lounge.

IAN RICHARDSON

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