Team of the Season - Leeds United lead the parade with Hull City with Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers among eight clubs recognised

IT’S not only Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer and Ed Davey who are putting their heads above the parapet at the minute.

The general election may still be over a month away, but at YP Towers, it’s decision time on the football front with myself and chief football writer Stuart Rayner handing out the 2023-24 verdict over the next couple of editions.

The ‘votes’ are in and it falls to yours truly to reveal our Team of the Season following a campaign which saw no Yorkshire club achieve promotion for the first time in nine seasons.

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There were, unfortunately, three relegations - although it would have been worse if Danny Rohl had not worked his magic.

THE CHOSEN ONES: The Yorkshire Post's Team of the Season 2023-24 - starting XI, substitutes and head coach, Danny Rohl.THE CHOSEN ONES: The Yorkshire Post's Team of the Season 2023-24 - starting XI, substitutes and head coach, Danny Rohl.
THE CHOSEN ONES: The Yorkshire Post's Team of the Season 2023-24 - starting XI, substitutes and head coach, Danny Rohl.

It all added to the degree of difficulty in reaching a final line-up, although it is never usually straightforward in any case.

As ever, the side is open to conjecture - or should that be censure.

The fact that Leeds United went so close to a promotion is illustrated by their healthy quota in our XI.

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Leeds United loanee Joe Rodon. Picture: Getty.Leeds United loanee Joe Rodon. Picture: Getty.
Leeds United loanee Joe Rodon. Picture: Getty.

Before naming the side, it is worth mentioning those who missed out.

Should form have been taken purely from the new year onwards, the stable of candidates would have been a very crowded one.

Luke Molyneux, Richard Wood and Hakeeb Adelakun excelled in Doncaster Rovers’ relentless and spectacular late charge for promotion from League Two, while marquee January recruit Fabio Carvalho caught the eye for Hull City, alongside Leeds cult hero Luke Ayling at his new home of Middlesbrough.

Speaking of Leeds, Ilia Gruev wasn’t half bad from January onwards either.

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Hull City's Jacob Greaves celebrates his late winner at Huddersfield Town in February. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.Hull City's Jacob Greaves celebrates his late winner at Huddersfield Town in February. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Hull City's Jacob Greaves celebrates his late winner at Huddersfield Town in February. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

January was also fateful for Hull loanee Liam Delap. Had he not suffered a knee injury which kept him out until mid April, he had the look of being a shoo-in.

A major dip in form and goals also kept Barnsley’s Devante Cole out of the picture after scoring 17 times by the first weekend in February.

Some just missed out on the final XI, but take their place on the bench, controversially. They include Ethan Ampadu and Georginio Rutter, most notably.

Leeds critically dropped off after the March international break to scupper their automatic promotion hopes, but the presence of three of their players in the starting line-up is still testament to the significant impact they made on the White Rose scene in the season that was.

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Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Will Vaulks. Picture: Steve EllisSheffield Wednesday midfielder Will Vaulks. Picture: Steve Ellis
Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Will Vaulks. Picture: Steve Ellis

The imperious form of Joe Rodon, the stand-out defender across the whole Championship for this correspondent, is duly recognised by a place in the side. Quite simply, he is not a Championship player.

He was one of the first picks in truth, alongside the player who partners him in the heart of the backline in Hull’s classy central defender Jacob Greaves, who City will do well to keep this summer.

The goalkeeping vote is quite controversial. Rotherham United had an utterly torrid season and created some unwanted records in the process en route to a pitiful relegation to the third tier.

But their horror statistics would have been worse had it not been for the presence of the redoubtable Viktor Johansson. The Millers custodian will remain in the Championship with Stoke, although it is a surprise that leading teams did not make a move when he was available for a bargain £1m.

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Alongside Rodon and Greaves, the presence of Brad Halliday is just reward for a season of remarkable consistency in a Bradford City side who finished ninth in League Two.

In terms of the others, the easiest decision was finding a place for Leeds’ Archie Gray, a generational talent and the Championship’s young player of the year and deservedly so. It is surely a case of when not if he gets elevated to England’s senior ranks.

The midfield presence of Will Vaulks, a lion-hearted figure who gave his all in Sheffield Wednesday’s marvellous ‘Great Escape’ is also meritorious and the sublime artistry of Jaden Philogene also wowed many as Hull lit up the Championship with some exquisite football.

The outstanding form of Harrogate Town’s Adraham Odoh recently earned him a move to League One side Peterborough and it also did enough to earn him a place in our line-up, although 18-goal team-mate George Thomson can consider himself unfortunate as can Doncaster’s Owen Bailey.

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The three names up top were not overly taxing to pick in truth.

The stellar form of Crysencio Summerville spoke for itself, while Doncaster were indebted to the presence of Joe Ironside all season.

In his maiden season in England, Boro’s Emmanuel Latte-Lath helped himself to an impressive 18 goals and it would have been more if it wasn’t for injury.

Line-up: Johansson; Halliday, Greaves, Rodon; Philogene, Gray, Vaulks, Odoh; Summerville, Ironside, Latte-Lath: Subs: Ampadu, Rutter, Robinson, Thomson, Helik, van den Berg, McAtee, Phillips, Bailey.

Head coach: Danny Rohl.