Vote for your Blackpool FC player of the year

Blackpool celebrate their teams second goal at Wigan on Saturday
Blackpool celebrate their teams second goal at Wigan on Saturday

t’s that time of the year again, your chance to pick The Gazette’s Blackpool FC player of the season.

With no stand-out candidates this season, we’ve decided to give you a choice of seven players, for varying reasons.

The winner will be announced at the club’s end of season dinner this Sunday night, and all the reaction will be in Monday’s paper.

And here’s our Blackpool FC writer WILLIAM WATT’S shortlist . . .

Matt Gilks

The goalkeeper has been an ever present this season for Blackpool and has enjoyed one of his busiest years at the club.

He’s recently been named the club’s captain and has played a huge part in helping lift the side out of their current plight.

Despite Pool’s form he’s been consistent in goal and his save against Wigan last weekend could yet be the biggest of his career.

The 31-year-old has made more than 200 appearances for the Seasiders since joining from Norwich in 2008 and was part of the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2010.

Chris Basham

He may not be the sort of player who’s going to be a match winner on his own, but he doesn’t half contribute.

It’s his first full season in the side since joining from Bolton in 2010 and he’s well and truly gained the tag of utility man.

At some stage this season he’s played every single position, apart from in goal of course, and for that reason alone deserves his nomination.

He’s played 41 times so far this season, with point winning goals against Leicester and Middlesbrough to show for it.

Neal Bishop

When on trial at Bloomfield Road this summer it’s fair to say most supporters had written off Neal Bishop.

The midfielder had spent most of his career in the lower leagues and the club’s confidence in him was evident with the decision to only hand him a six month contract.

I’m pleased to say he proved the doubters wrong.

If this was an award for effort and commitment Bishop would run away with it, and he’s put in some shift during his 35 appearances.

Like Basham, the 32-year-old has been asked to play in a number of positions and has always given everything.

A very deserving nominee.

David Perkins

The fact David Perkins has managed a nomination having only joined in January shows what an impact he’s made.

I don’t think the midfielder has stopped running in any of his 19 games for the Seasiders so far.

While energy and effort are the main signatures of his game, Perkins also offers quality on the ball and will clear up the scraps all over the pitch.

He’s one of the few signed for next season, it’s fair to say Barnsley’s loss has been Blackpool’s gain.

Ricardo Fuller

Since arriving in August Blackpool haven’t won a game without Ricardo Fuller playing a part.

And it’s for that reason the striker can’t be far away when we talk about players of the season.

The 34-year-old’s season has been blighted with injury, but he’s still managed 27 appearances leading the line for Pool.

His goals have led to 14 points for the Seasiders this season, meaning he’s directly contributed more than any other player.

Had he been fit all season he’d have run away with this vote.

Stephen Dobbie

I think Dobbie himself will be the first to admit he hasn’t had his best season in a Blackpool shirt.

But boy has he delivered when it’s mattered, particularly in the last couple of games.

When the Seasiders have really needed that bit of class or quality against Brighton and Wigan, the 31-year-old has obliged.

While he’s used to doing his business at the top of the Championship table, his recent contribution could be just as vital.

Barry Ferguson

This may seem an odd one considering he’s been manager since January, but is there a player who’s made a bigger contribution this season than Barry Ferguson.

The 36-year-old was by far Pool’s best player in the first half of the season, before taking over from Paul Ince as stand-in boss at the start of 2014.

He’s recently dug-out his boots again to play against Leeds and Burnley before injury kept him out of their last two, and after 21 appearances this season he’s well deserving of the nomination.

While his spell in charge as manager hasn’t gone as smoothly as he’d have liked, he’s without doubt Pool’s man of the year.

But is he your player of the year? You decide.

How to vote?

You can cast your vote by sending your winner to william.watt@blackpoolgazette.co.uk or posting an entry to William Watt, The Gazette, Avroe House, Avroe Cresent, Blackpool, FY42DP.

Readers have until noon on Thursday to cast their vote, one per person will be accepted.

The Gazette’s player of the year will be announced at the end of season dinner at Bloomfield Road on Sunday, full coverage in Monday’s Gazette.