L2 Player of the Year
League Two has made for intriguing viewing again this season, but who has impressed the most?
Last Updated: 22/03/13 9:39am
League Two has made for intriguing viewing again this season, but who has impressed the most in the fourth tier?
The Football League awards will honour the great and good on Sunday evening, with a gala ceremony at The Brewery in London set to acknowledge the efforts of those who have excelled in 2012/13.
Competition for the top gongs is as fierce as ever, with so many players having caught the eye.
There can, however, be only three contenders for the coveted Player of the Year award and a veteran striker, a midfield general and a rejuvenated frontman make up the League Two shortlist.
Jamie Cureton -Exeter City
Cureton's professional career began way back in 1994/95, when he graduated out of the academy ranks at Norwich. Fast forward the best part of two decades and he is still doing the business for Exeter at the age of 37. Cureton continues to prove that age is no barrier when you know the way to goal. That particular path has been well trodden this season, with the target having been found on 15 occasions. There is the promise of more to come, with Cureton well on course to break through the 20-goal barrier for the sixth time in his much-travelled career. It is possible that his efforts will fire Exeter to promotion, with the Grecians currently perched inside the fourth tier play-off places and within touching distance of the top three.
Gary Jones - Bradford City
What a season it has been for Bradford. The Bantams exceeded all expectations during a remarkable run through the Capital One Cup to make it all the way to the final. A day out at Wembley will live long in the memory of those involved and those who made the journey to the capital from West Yorkshire to cheer on their heroes. The result may not have gone Bradford's way that day, but the Bantams left with their heads held high. Among those to have rolled back the years to play a leading role in the cup quest was Jones, with the 35-year-old having taken the armband at Valley Parade during his first season with the club. He is a born leader, a man who never gives anything less than 100 per cent and his efforts have been rightly recognised by his peers.
Tom Pope - Port Vale
In a year in which 'Pope' has been very much a buzz word, it is fitting than a man who carries that name has risen to the fore. This Pope may not be worshipped by millions across the world, or have a special pair of red shoes, but he has become something of a cult hero to followers of a certain club in the Potteries. Port Vale signed Pope on a permanent basis from Rotherham in 2011, having initially been impressed by him during a loan spell. He arrived with a modest scoring record, with double figures having been reached just once in his career to that point. At the age of 27, it appeared as though he would always be viewed as more of a targetman than a goal-getter. Pope has changed all that this season, though, with 27 goals plundered in all competitions. He netted four times against former employers Rotherham in September and grabbed another hat-trick against Bristol Rovers in November to fire Vale into promotion contention. It is efforts such as that which suggest a recent run of 11 games without a goal can be passed off as little more than a blip.