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EFL pundit Gab Sutton picks his Team of the Season for 2022-23 League Two…

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Lawrence Vigouroux


Harry Lewis has had an astonishing season for Bradford, who wouldn’t be in the Play-Offs without his heroics, and any other season he’d be an automatic pick for the goalkeeping jersey – but Lawrence Vigouroux just can’t be left out.

The Orient goalkeeper has kept a stunning 24 clean sheets this season and made four penalty saves for the champions, bringing excellent distribution that has led many to dub him the best stopper outside the Championship.


Cameron Norman


Newport had a tough start to their campaign, but since Graham Coughlan took charge in October, they’ve only been beaten eight times, fewer than all teams outside the top seven, plus Salford and Carlisle.

Cam Norman has been a key part of that resurgence, bringing quality and drive from right wing-back, making the 27-year-old an attractive out-of-contract potential pickup this summer.


Omar Beckles


Orient’s imperious defensive record becomes more impressive when considering the disruptions to their back-line, with seven different players deployed at centre-back over the course of the campaign. Through the disruptions, the O’s have had a pillar of consistency in Omar Beckles, who’s experience and leadership has been crucial.

Dan Happe was outstanding in the first half of the season, for example, but the homegrown defender’s December injury could have been a huge setback for the Londoners, yet Ed Turns joined on loan from Brighton and slotted in seamlessly. All credit to Happe, for his contributions, and Turns for making such an impact in his first senior loan, but Beckles has brought valuable consistency and continuity.


Carl Piergianni


Piergianni has just produced one of the greatest seasons ever produced by a League Two centre-back.

Incredibly, it followed a relegation from the same division the year before with Oldham. ‘Pidge’ was man-of-the-match, though, when the Latics won 1-0 at Broadhall way in April’s six-pointer, Steve Evans’ second game in charge, nudging the demanding Scot to sign the defender that summer, after Boro stayed up.

He’s proved an inspired addition for Stevenage, bringing relentless consistency, drive and leadership: Piergianni isn’t hugely tall for a centre-back at 6’2”, yet is the league’s second-most prolific aerial specialist, winning 8.4 headers per game, second only to Harrogate target man Luke Armstrong.

The hallmark of this Stevenage side is that it’s so hard to win consecutive duels against them: on the rare occasion one player loses out, their teammate is ready to attack the ball straight away, and that makes them a devilishly difficult unit to prize apart – Piergianni has been a huge part of that.


Jack Armer


After making steady progress in his first two seasons at Carlisle, Jack Armer is now one of the most complete left-backs in the league.

Earlier in his career, it was perceived that the former Preston North End youngster would struggle to offer enough going forward to be a left-back, and would be strongest on the left of three.

This season, however, he’s been an ever-present at left wing-back, with an excellent attacking output, including a belting strike at Swindon – and was rewarded with a three-year contract in March.


Elliot Watt


Salford may have a battle on their hands to retain Elliot Watt this summer, even with the midfielder under contract.

Watt has been arguably the best deep-lying playmaker in League Two, offering a deft touch and sublime vision for long-range passing, whilst getting stuck in and producing the big numbers in attack: the joint-most assists with 15, highlighting his threat from set pieces.

Watt more could you ask for?


Owen Moxon


Watt is joint-top assister with Moxon, who himself has proved a dead ball specialist, as well as offering immense creativity in open play.

Hartlepool’s poor recruitment last summer suggest it can be hard to find value in the Scottish market, but Carlisle have done just that by signing the 24-year-old from Annan Athletic.

Highly energetic, Moxon takes a lot of risks with his passes: they don’t all come off but when they do, they really open up defences for Carlisle, a transformed side under Paul Simpson.


Will Collar


Will Collar has been a key part of Stockport’s push for a second successive promotion. A good passer with boundless energy, the aggressive box-to-box man can either drift right to link up with Kyle Knoyle, or run beyond Kyle Wootton. The 26-year-old is new to the EFL, but has made his mark very quickly, to the extent Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson has attended Edgeley Park on occasion to see what he can offer.


Paul Smyth


It’s been an odd career in English football so far for Paul Smyth because, despite playing well in the Championship for QPR, and in League One for Accrington Stanley and Wycombe, the Northern Irishman has somehow still found himself in League Two.

The only reason is injuries, and last season’s lay-off meant, at 25, he’s still playing well below his natural level, and it’s looked that way in 2022-23. An enthusiastic ball of energy who brings skill and flair to the mix to boot, the 5’0” forward has been a key man behind Leyton Orient’s title win, scoring nine goals in the first half of the season, before a quieter 2023 due to being more of a marked man.


Andy Cook


Strong and industrious enough to be a focal point, yet skilled and mobile enough to thrive individualistically, Andy Cook has a range of qualities that are incredibly rare at League Two level.

It’s not something that would always been associated with Cook at other times in his career, when he was more of an archetypal goalscoring target man at Tranmere and Walsall, and is somehow more mobile at 32 than he was at 25.

‘Cookie’ threatened this form last season in patches and, now injury-free, he’s added consistency, adopting the same chant Andy Cole once had. A fine solo strike at Gillingham and others show it really is as simple as the lyrics “he gets the ball and scores a goal” imply.


Sam Hoskins


Not only is Sam Hoskins the second-top goalscorer in League Two, only six players have more assists than the wide forward’s seven, with 29 direct goal involvements.

Hoskins had only ever been a single-digit goalscorer before 2021-22, partly due to playing as a wing-back at times under Keith Curle, but after hitting 13 last season, he’s added a further nine to his tally this time around.

The 30-year-old has been at his best cutting in from the left, attacking spaces between the opposing right-back and corresponding centre-back, before producing incisive moments of quality.

On top of that, Hoskins has brought the same selfless energy he’s always had, that has made him a stalwart of the Teyn.


Manager – Jon Brady


Richie Wellens was highly deserving of the official accolade, and Steve Evans would have been too – not to mention the likes of Paul Simpson and Pete Wild, who have done extraordinary jobs at their clubs.

What goes under the radar, outside Northampton, perhaps, is the challenges Jon Brady and Northampton overcame in the run-in.

The Cobblers always had between around 5-6 injuries at a time in the first half of the season, and 9-12 in the second, and it massively stretched Brady and Colin Calderwood’s adaptability.

For the management team to continue to find the answers with at times a patched up defence, a makeshift midfield and still find the consistency required is hugely impressive, when considering the threat posed by Stockport and others.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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