The PFA Team of the Year: Coca-Cola Championship
Marcus Hahnemann - king of the clean sheets in the Championship this season. (©Empics)
By Dave Smith 23-04-06
Marcus Hahnemann - Reading
It's been quite a year for the giant American keeper who would love to follow up his Championship title success with Reading by starring for the USA at the World Cup finals. Few have kept more clean sheets this season than Marcus who is a welcome addition to the PFA's Player Management Agency.
Gary Kelly - Leeds United
The ever-reliable Irishman has seen a whole squad of players, and more, come and go at Elland Road where he's been a permanent fixture for almost 13 years - and his nomination for the division's team of the year is a tribute to both his ability and his loyalty.
Ibrahima Sonko – Reading
No surprise that so many Reading players feature in this line-up as the Royals have been THE outstanding team of the year, and no surprise that the Senegalese defender - a free transfer from Brentford - joins the roll of honour. Little wonder Reading fans chant 'Sonko is Superman'.
Joleon Lescott - Wolverhampton Wanderers
A cultured and composed centre half, Joleon is back to his best after once undergoing surgery on both knees, a double injury which forced him to miss the whole of Wolves' Premiership campaign (2003-2004). An ever-present in Wolves' play-off push this time around.
Nicky Shorey – Reading
Another star turn from Steve Coppell's all-conquering outfit, the cultured and skilful left back has made the £25,000 Reading paid Leyton Orient for his services in 2000 look like peanuts. Missed the end of last season with injury, but has been a model of consistency this.
Steve Sidwell – Reading
The Royals' only nominee for team of the year last season, the former Arsenal apprentice has merely carried on where he left off last term. Sidwell, Reading's first ever England Under 21 international and youngest ever captain, has enjoyed another excellent season...and has chipped in with some vital goals too.
Phil Jagielka - key man for the Blades as they join Royals in the Premiership. (©Empics)
Phil Jagielka - Sheffield United
With the Blades set to join Reading in the Premiership next season, this honour would make a dream double for the dependable United star who's equally at home in midfield or at the back. Promotion would also be a just reward for his commitment to the club as he came up through United's youth ranks.
Jason Koumas – Cardiff
His career never quite took off at West Brom the way he hoped after joining the Baggies from Tranmere, but he's showed all his Welsh international qualities - scoring some spectacular, solo goals in the process - for Cardiff who would love to make his season-long loan a permanent one.
Ashley Young – Watford
A product of the club's youth Academy, Ashley was last season named the Hornets' Young Player of the Year and, still only 20, he has continued to make great strides this term in an exciting Watford team which is amongst the Championship's leading scorers.
Marlon King – Watford
After two difficult years at Nottingham Forest, and a loan spell at Leeds, Marlon has certainly got his career back on track with the promotion-chasing Hornets and manager Ady Boothroyd's decision to take him on a season-long loan has reaped dividends - and produced a 20-goal haul.
Kevin Doyle – Reading
Has to be the Championship's bargain buy of the season. Steve Coppell surely couldn't have expected the young Irishman he snapped up from Cork City for an undisclosed fee to be a virtual ever-present in a title-winning team - and clock up around 20 goals into the bargain.