Published: 10:00, 30 April 2020
| Updated: 07:57, 04 May 2020
It’s time for KentOnline’s team-of-the-year.
The non-league season may have been cut short but that’s not a reason to stop us recognising some top talent that made for memorable moments during the 2019/20 campaign.
After much debate, we’ve come up with our final XI - plus substitutes - and there’s a chance to vote for your favourite in our poll.
It’s a change in formation from last year’s traditional 4-4-2 as we’ve reverted to a “box” midfield.
Deal Town’s James Tonkin is named as our star goalkeeper and will be remembered for his heroics back in January.
Tonkin saved three penalties before hitting the winner in their FA Vase quarter-final shoot-out. After 22 spot-kicks, Deal beat Binfield 7-6 on penalties to send the Hoops through to the last 16 having played out a 3-3 draw.
It’s great to see Folkestone Invicta’s longest-serving player Josh Vincent at right-back following another terrific season, helping Neil Cugley’s side battle at the top end of the Isthmian Premier Division table.
Vincent scored a few goals too, seven in total, including a brace in a 5-1 win over Hythe Town, one to claim a point at Wingate & Finchley and a late winner to clinch maximum points against Bishop’s Stortford early in the season.
Captaining the side is central defender Callum McGeehan, a key man who has helped Hollands & Blair claim a place back among the leading sides in Southern Counties East.
McGeehan’s defensive duties and leadership skills for Blair were complemented by scoring 10 goals in his 38 appearances, a stunning ratio for a defender. He got a hat-trick in one game and claimed a few assists too.
He is partnered at the back by Tonbridge Angels’ long-serving centre-half Sonny Miles.
It was a tough season for Steve McKimm's side, fighting at the bottom end of National League South, but they were picking up form before the campaign was halted prematurely.
Mr Tonbridge, Sonny Miles, proved well at home on their return to National South and has played a big part in their great run since Christmas.
Former Spurs man Connor Ogilvie has surprised everyone with his performances at left-back this season, including Gillingham manager Steve Evans, who signed him as a centre-half.
Ogivlie didn’t look comfortable at left-back previously, and Evans admitted he wasn’t impressed with past performances either, but he’s blossomed in that role during the current campaign and many are tipping him to be named Gills’ player-of-the-year.
Versatile Josh Wisson started out this season playing centre-half before moving into midfield. Competition for places at Ashford has forced everyone to raise their game and he has done just that.
He gets a defensive midfield role in our team but playing further forward has also allowed him to become a key ingredient of Tommy Warrilow’s ever-improving side during the past campaign.
Maidstone United's box-to-box midfield man Saidou Khan has been tipped for the Football League by their outgoing head of football John Still. He can glide past opponents and turn defence into attack in a flash.
He scored an FA Cup wonder goal against Blackpool, winning Stones' goal-of-the-season by a landslide.
A terrific season for Jack Evans is rewarded with a place in our team. He has controlled the Chatham Town side from the middle of the park and often showing that Football League upbringing which saw him start out playing for Gillingham.
Evans combines trickery and hard work and would walk into any Southern Counties East team and many Isthmian League managers wouldn’t mind him either. Playing behind the strikers at Maidstone Road, he ended the season with over 20 goals to his name.
Corinthian’s Oscar Housego scored 14 goals and managed 16 assists from central midfield. At 21, he was an integral part of the side that were challenging for the Southern Counties East title.
Few could have predicted the impact of Elliott Romain at Princes Park when Dartford boss Steve King signed him from Eastbourne in October.
He quickly established himself as the talisman in a revitalised Darts outfit, scoring 15 goals and setting up many others for fellow forward Darren McQueen. Romain helped move the Darts from relegation contenders to play-off certainties.
It was no surprise to see Joe Taylor scoring the winner in Cray Wanderers’ last game before the shutdown. He partners Romain up top. Taylor’s goals helped push the team up to second in the Isthmian Premier Division and who knows, they might even have gone onto win it. He ended the campaign with 26 goals in the league, 32 in total.
And for the subs. It's no disgrace being on this bench;
The revolving door was in full effect at Stonebridge Road. Josh Payne made the switch on loan from League 2 Crawley in October. He was a key member of the Ebbsfleet side during their upturn in results under boss Kevin Watson.
Perhaps his most memorable moment came in the Fleet's FA Cup first round tie defeat to Notts County, when he scored a 40-yard wonder goal.
Dan Bradshaw scored a phenomenal amount of goals for Ernie Batten’s Southern Counties East side, netting 45 goals at the last count and that’s without including three goals against Greenwich Borough, who pulled out midway through the season.
We’ve seen the football set-up he has at home so it’s no surprise that Zak Ansah has all the skills. The former Arsenal player enjoyed a great season at Herne Bay, ending the season with seven goals in the last six matches, including two penalties in a 2-1 win over Sittingbourne before the campaign was halted. He's among the subs again as he was for the 2017/18 team-of-the-year.
Dan Wilks has been a consistent performer in a season of change at Park View Road.
Goalkeeper Wilks enjoyed an excellent second year at Welling, producing a series of fine saves during the campaign and winning admirers around the National League South.
Bearsted might have been on the outside looking in during the chase for promotion in the Southern Counties East Premier Division but striker James Bessey-Saldanha certainly knew where the goal was.
His 26 goals in 30 games for the Bears earned him a move to Sevenoaks Town in the middle of February, making just five appearances for his new club before the season was cut short.
Last but not least, the manager-of-the-year;
Michael Golding (Corinthian)
Had the Southern Counties East had their way then Corinthian would have finished the season as champions, winning on average points per game, but their efforts have been for nothing.
Golding’s side managed to chase silverware on several fronts, including making it to the FA Vase semi-finals and the final of the Kent Senior Trophy which should have been played against Sheppey United. Who knows how close to a historical treble they would have got?
Voting is now closed. We'll reveal the star man soon...
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