Vote for Your Player of the Season: Contender – Paul Caddis
Our Player of the Season vote has been open since Monday. The winning player will secure the prestigious ‘Fraser Digby Tortoiseshell Comb Award’ when the result is announced on Friday 4th May 2012. Players eligible for the vote include only those squad members who have played in at least 10 games in all competitions. Medhi Kerrouche is ineligible as he played for O*ford during the season.
This week we’ve reviewed three key contenders for the award and today Rosie MacGillivray provides the final player review…
With his surging runs forward a challenge to any League Two defence, Paul Caddis is Town’s very own Dani Alves. It is however, his role as leader, which has set him apart, only a season after seeing Swindon relegated without a whimper, minus one.
Caddis had up, until his injury in March, not missed a minute of football this season. It was perhaps, his absence, which really showed his importance to the team. It isn’t often a right-back is classed as the difference between defeat and victory, but against Chesterfield and Crewe, he just might have been.
Paolo Di Canio could never find an able replacement. Alan McCormack, who is often renowned for his surging runs forward from central defence but couldn’t replicate this at right-back. Next up it was the turn of Joe Devera; he was solid and never did anything wrong, he just lacked the creativeness that Caddis possesses.
The Scot has forged a formidable right-sided partnership with Matt Ritchie. As Di Canio struggled to find a settled left-sided partnership, virtually all our attacking play came from the duo. The form of Matt Ritchie – as he, himself admitted – took a particular dip while Caddis was injured.
Ritchie on the whole has been outstanding but you can name matches where he has underperformed. Anyone would be hard-pressed to do the same for Paul Caddis. His reliable and consistent level of performance, even when playing several times a month, has been nothing short of brilliant. It is rumoured that last time Caddis had a bad game, Oxford had a stadium with four stands.
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say, at times, our football has been quite scintillating and Caddis has played a massive part of this. The triangle between himself, his ex-Celtic teammate Simon Ferry and Ritchie has been vital to many of our goals throughout the season.
While he has contributed to our solid defence, with five goals and five assists to his name this season, he has also performed beyond his defensive duties. In a season when we have witnessed so many great goals, Caddis has had a couple of his own. A cross-cum-shot versus Southend United was only bettered by his Messi-like run from his own half at Bristol Rovers before firing home from the edge of the box.
In particular, more than a few of our goals have initially come from a Paul Caddis run. Only last Saturday, you will all remember the Ferry flick that Paul Benson converted with a cheeky chip against Port Vale last Saturday. But this whole move started from a surging Caddis run into midfield.
His quick thinking, vision and technique has not only got Caddis out of potentially tricky situations defensively, it has also been used to great effect going forward – as shown for the winning goal against Barnet in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. His ability to deliver a cross without taking a first touch allowed Alan Connell to nod home, with the Barnet defence not expecting such a quick ball.
Last season, while Danny Wilson moved him from pillar to post, well from right-wing and the bench, to holding midfielder and right-back, he split opinions. Fast forward twelve months, there shouldn’t a Town fan around who wouldn’t have him as captain, never mind in the first team.
A team with Caddis is so much better than one without. His tireless running up and down the right flank allows Matt Ritchie to cut inside and play with freedom. Strong defensively and is often found mopping up alongside McCormack and Flint in the middle.
Come on, you know it makes sense to vote for him and I also heard he is in real need of a tortoiseshell comb.
Captain Fantastic needs your vote.
Vote for your STFC Player of the Season. Voting Closes at 8pm 3rd May.
The other main contenders for the award…