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Thursday 26th May 2016

Championship Team of the Season

Craig Fowler rounds up the Ladbrokes Championship season by naming his Top XI for the division for 2015/16.

Craig Fowler rounds up the Ladbrokes Championship season by naming his Top XI for the division for 2015/16.
GK - Kevin Cuthbert (Raith Rovers)
Cuthbert went from rotating with David McGurn for the number one jersey to being a stand-out for Raith Rovers across the course of the season. Rovers fans love McGurn so it shows how well the former Hamilton shot-stopper has played that there was no grumbling when the veteran starter went out on loan during the campaign.
DR - James Tavernier (Rangers)
There's been a lot of discussion with regard to the defensive side of his game. But while there's work to be done on that end, you can't seriously suggest that it offsets his attacking input. He netted into double figures in the league and got close to 20 assists, a terrific record for a full-back.
DC - Lewis Toshney (Raith Rovers)
Rovers went into the campaign wondering if they could glue together a decent enough partnership at centre back and it ended up being their strongest area of the team. That was in no small part thanks to Toshney, who was rock solid in the role. Later in the campaign he was asked to move into central midfield when Craig Barr returned from injury and, wouldn't you know it, he excelled there as well.
DC - Paul Hanlon (Hibernian)
Hibs' downturn in form occurred around the time Hanlon missed a few games through injury, and it's unlikely to have been a coincidence. Hanlon is underrated, even by his own support, and you realise how much Hibs miss his calming influence on the defence when he's not there.
DL - Luke Leahy (Falkirk)
Another terrific campaign from the young Falkirk star who went from being a bit-part midfielder to one of the best left-backs in the country the season before. He continued his good form and played a crucial role in a Falkirk team that defied expectations to finish above Hibs. With the Bairns opting for a narrow 4-4-2, they needed Leahy's attacking drive from deep and he underlined his importance with a great showing in the second leg of the Ladbrokes Premiership play-off final against Hibs.
MC - John McGinn (Hibernian)
'Super' John McGinn was the talisman of the Hibs side. A terrific two-way player, McGinn is as capable of getting stuck into the opposition and winning the ball back, as he is at driving his team forward and creating for those in attack. His composure in a Scotland jersey indicates a bright future in the game.
MC - Jason Holt (Rangers)
The intelligent midfielder chipped in with an impressive 12 goals from the centre of the park in all competitions and really thrived in Mark Warburton's pass and move system. He's another who is perhaps underrated, as he really knits the Rangers attack together with his dynamism.
MC - Liam Henderson (Hibernian)
Brought an energy and enthusiasm to the Hibs midfield, not to mention a wicked set-piece delivery. Henderson showed he's a player who'll go far in the game and was lovingly embraced by the Easter Road faithful.
AMR - Blair Alston (Falkirk)
The natural centre midfielder found a new home for himself on the right of the midfield four, where he would drift into the box at the back post, contributing 11 league goals for the campaign.
FC - Martyn Waghorn (Rangers)
Even though he was injured in February, playing only one more league game thereafter, he still finished top of the pile in terms of goals scored and therefore deserves his place in this side. However, he was not just a simple goalscorer, as his hold-up and link play really helped make the Rangers attack as potent as it was.
AML - Barrie McKay (Rangers)
The most improved player in Scottish football between last year and this one. McKay was electric for Rangers out on the left wing. Not only did he make things happen, as wingers are expected to do, he would rarely lose possession and always make the intelligent pass.