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The alternative EFL League One team of the year - but only two Sunderland players are allowed!

Our contributors Graham, Jack, Phil and Jake choose their alternative EFL League One team of the season. Do you agree with their picks - and, who would make your team?

Charlton Athletic

The only rule set is that you can have no more than two players from each team!


I must admit, this was harder than I expected! The likes of John Marquis, James Collins and Marcus Maddison can probably feel a little hard done by.

In the nets is our very own Jon McLaughlin who pips Gillingham’s Tomas Holy.

A solid pair of centre-backs in the shape of League One’s best defender Matt Clarke and the ever improving Naby Sarr of Charlton Atheltic take numbers four and five. Whilst I could have chosen any number of Luton Town’s players, I felt the speed and attacking nature of young full-backs Jack Stacey and James Justin were the best options to compliment the rest of my side.

Barnsley’s Alex Mowatt’s is absolutely superb in possession, and I’ve put him alongside his team-mate Cameron McGheehan.

In my 4-2-3-1 I gave star man (and my player of the season) Aiden McGeady a free role behind the striker, and he is flanked by the pacey Jamal Lowe on the left and assist king Ashley Hunter swinging them in from the right.

I rate Lyle Taylor as the best striker in the league and think he’d be the perfect foil for the three men behind him, so he gets the nod up top.

Surely that has to be the best League One team by a country mile?


To start with, I had to go with our very own Jon McLaughlin in nets. I honestly believe if it wasn’t for him we’d be aiming for the play-offs right now, and he’s clearly a cut above any of his goalkeeping rivals in the division.

At right back, I opted for Barnsley’s Dimitri Cavare. If it wasn’t for the two players from one team limit it’d have probably been Luton’s Matt Stacey, with Luke O’Nien an honourable mention. For left back, however, it was an easy decision to go with Luton’s James Justin, and I’m not surprised to see I’m not the only one to select him.

I’m sure those reading this won’t be surprised to notice my omission of Sunderland’s centre backs! Instead, I’ve gone with the two most impressive defenders I’ve seen all season. Both Matt Clarke and Ethan Pinnock are incredibly solid, young centre-backs that are physically and mentally a cut above League One. One way or another, they’ll be plying their trade in the Championship next season, I’m sure.

In centre midfield, I like to think I’ve selected a very exciting pair. Joe Aribo, Charlton’s midfield prodigy, has bagged 6 goals and 4 assists this season, and in my eyes he has it all. Tall, strong, athletic and skillful with bags of energy, he really is a complete midfielder and it’s no surprise that he’s attracting interest from top-level clubs across Europe.

Partnering him is another prodigal box-to-box midfielder in Doncaster’s Herbie Kane. The on-loan Liverpool man has had a stellar debut season, racking up 4 goals and 6 assists. While he won’t be breaking into Klopp’s XI any time soon, he’s certain to be on loan in the Championship next season - and I for one would love to see us pursue him.

The wings were perhaps the easiest positions for me to pick, after Jon McLaughlin.

Running down the (left) wing for me is our very own Aiden McGeady. I honestly thought he would be one of the big earners to leave us in the summer, or at least put in the kind of half-hearted season Bryan Oviedo has, but I was entirely wrong. Like McLaughlin, his performances have won games for us single-handedly, and I think without our talisman, we’d be in a hell of a lot worse shape than we are right now.

On the other side, I’ve opted for Portsmouth’s Jamal Lowe. Wembley heartbreak aside, his performances have really impressed me this season. The 24 year-old has scored 14 goals and registered 9 assists this campaign - highly impressive stats for a winger in this division that actually best McGeady’s 11 and 5 respectively.

Up front I’ve gone for the two top scorers in the division. James Collins has reflected Luton’s ruthlessness up front this season, leading the line for the champions-elect and bagging 23 goals so far. Alongside him I’ve chosen Lyle Taylor, whose all-round game is unlike any I’ve seen from a League One striker this season. At the time of writing he’s scored 19 goals and registered 9 assists for a Charlton side that are really defying the odds this season.


It’s canny obvious who is going in nets for this. We’ll do well to keep hold of Jon McLaughlin no matter which league we’ll be plying our trade in next season, so it’s very much a no-brainer!

The formation isn’t the best, I agree, but a 3-4-3 was the best way for me to throw as many attackers in as possible. Two thirds of the back three very much picked themselves as Matt Clarke and Ethan Pinnock of Portsmouth and Barnsley respectively have both been head and shoulders above any other defender in the league this season. The last spot in my solid back line was a toss up between two. Sonny Bradley and Matty Pearson were considered due to their excellent contributions in their side’s brilliant campaign. However, in the end, I decided on handing the honour to the former due to the hilarious reaction of being pushed by a Bradford player earlier in the season.

Alex Mowatt (Barnsley) and Joe Aribo (Charlton) are my two central midfielders in the side, who both have the ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck, as well as calm down proceedings when necessary.

The wingers pick themselves as neither Jamal Lowe or Aiden McGeady should be in this league, and that’s a fact!

The front three consists of Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers), James Collins (Luton) and Lyle Taylor (Charlton). Each one of these players has the ability to grab a goal from the most unlikely of situations. A combined total of around 60 goals means this team has some ridiculous firepower up top!


Choosing a goalkeeper was probably the easiest decision I had to make in this team, and despite the EFL thinking Adam Davies is more deserving of a spot in this team that our very own Jon McLaughlin, we all know they're wrong!

The full backs would have also been a pretty easy decision if it were not for the two players per club rule which meant to choose Luton Town's Jack Stacey and James Justin would mean leaving out EFL Player of the Season James Collins. However, since the third tier has plenty of good strikers - and lacks good wing backs - I've decided to use up my Luton Town allocation early doors.

At the heart of defence, I chose a player from each of Sunderland's rivals for second place. Matt Clarke from Portsmouth and Ethan Pinnock would provide a solid base and both seem capable of playing at a higher level.

Moving into midfield, I'm going for two deep-lying midfielders. Tom Naylor is a player who could have been a Sunderland player, and watching him play this season you could see why Jack Ross was interested in the summer. Next to him I’ve gone for more of a more ball-playing midfielder in the shape of Herbie Kane, currently at Doncaster on loan from Liverpool. Although he gained most of his plaudits in the first half of the season, he's played a huge part in getting Doncaster into the top six.

On the wings I'm using my final Sunderland player in Aiden McGeady. He's class, I love him and he's the best player in the division. On the other wing I was somewhat spoilt for choice, Jamal Lowe can count himself unlucky that I’ve already picked two Portsmouth players, but I've gone for Peterborough's Marcus Maddison who is the League's top assist maker with 15.

Up front I've gone for two strikers who lead the line and score goals. Charlton's Lyle Taylor is the best all-round striker in the league; his 20 goals show why he was another who interested Sunderland last summer. To partner Taylor I've gone with Kieffer Moore, who put in a brilliant performance at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season - the drop off in Barnsley's goal scoring when he was ruled out through injury shows exactly why he's in my League One team of the season.

Which team is the best? Who would you have in your team? Let us know!

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