Macc Town player reviews 14/15

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These are my thoughts on how each of Macc’s players performed in our excellent 14/15 season. Although we fell just short of the play-offs, a sixth place finish (the highest since 04/05), we had the third best home record in the league and the most points for 17 seasons.
All players started the season as a 5/10

Featured image
The Cheshire Senior Cup was captured for the first time in 15 years

George Pilkington A superb season from the ever dependable stopper, deservedly rewarded with players and fans player of the season. Continued to show that football intelligence and a reading of the game can make up for a lack of physicality. Held together a defence that kept 18 clean sheets and adapted well to playing with different partners. Well respected and will have a role in coaching younger players, hope to see him next season. 9/10

Rhys Taylor Probably unlucky to not get a spot at a league club last summer and put in some excellent displays this time round. Still not the best at commanding his box, but there are not many better shot stoppers at this level. Played every league game, despite carrying knocks and played a key role in important wins against Barnet, Chester and Dartford. I think he is one who will earn a move to a higher level.  9/10

Waide Fairhurst I was very sceptical about giving Waide another chance after his issues with getting match fit in his last spell. Still has the skill and ability to hold off a challenge that he has always possessed, but a prolonged run in the side has made him a much more effective team player, with the ability to cope with the physical demands of the league. Another who scored some belters, with an incredible 45 yarder against Chester, and my goal of the season, the half way line half volley against Kidderminster.  Should be looking to get 20 goals next season. 7/10

Paul Turnbull A real driving force from midfield, who leads by example. Has the ability to get around the pitch and hassle the opposition, with an eye for a pass and quality from a dead ball; if he was 6ft 3 then would be in League 1 by now. Particularly important to our early season form and his absence was pivotal in defeats to Altrincham and Bristol Rovers. Would have got a 9 if he carried on his early season form, but struggled for a few games after injury and understandably tired towards the end of the season. Could be set for a move into League 2 . 8/10

Andy Halls Another who was greatly improved on the previous season which saw him christened ‘The New Andy Halls’. Not a flashy full-back, but full of endeavour and a good battler. Recognised by England C which will have done his development no harm. Would like to see him retained, but could do with contributing a couple of goals next season. 7/10

Danny Whitaker Experienced midfielder with over 250 appearances for Macc. Struggled with a back injury for much of the early part of the season but one of the few who improved after Christmas.Still has the ability to knock the ball around well, and covers a lot of ground, just lacks that bit of physicality on occasions. Scored in narrow wins over Torquay and Aldershot and has that bit of class that we need. Clearly a trusted player for John Askey, but could have been substituted earlier a few times when we were overrun in midfield. Expect to see him at the Moss next season. 6/10

Adriano Moke Another ex-County player who seems to have settled in well at Macc despite being not rated by their fans. A hugely enthusiastic character to have around the club, seems to give everyone a lift and keep people smiling. An industrious winger who covers for his full-back very well, and is not one for standing and admiring a pass. Could improve on his final ball and finishing, but combine this with the pace he has I don’t think we would have him to start with. Hope he stays. 6/10

Thierry Audel Returned in January to add some much needed presence at the back. Had the worst possible start in his debut away at Eastleigh in a 4-0 mauling live on BT. Improved greatly towards the end of the season, but still gets himself in some odd positions defensively. Would imagine he will look for a League 2 club next season. 6/10

Scot Barrow A brilliant first season for the Welsh left-back. After the departure of Danny Andrew in the summer, I thought we would struggle to replace him. Thankfully Scot proved a success, with a willingness to contribute going forward, and more importantly, an ability to defend well. Scored two screamers against Barnet and Alfreton to boot. Would like to see him stay for a second season. 8/10

Chris Holroyd In many ways a difficult season for Chris, despite making over 40 appearances he was forced to operate on the wing for much of the season. He did a great job for the team and is the archetypal winger in a John Askey team, a willing runner who can get back and help the defence. I still think he has a role further forward, he has a sharpness that unsettles centre halves. Like others, needs to add more goals to his game, hopefully whilst up front for Macc. 6/10

Paul Lewis Has developed into an important player in the middle of the park, with his football improving greatly, to complement his physical attributes. Proves a good foil for Turnbull in a midfield two, and has the energy to get into advanced positions as well. I think someone would have taken a gamble on him in January but for his shoulder injury against Wrexham, and I think someone may well come in over the summer. 6/10

Matthew Barnes-Homer Nomadic striker returned with a new attitude for a highly unlikely second spell at the club. His effort and willingness to occupy a back four has improved, but his killer instinct appears to have deserted him. Was asked to play alone up top which also affected his goal tally. Has the ability to frustrate but would like to see him stay. 6/10

Dan Cowan Good to see a youth team player progress to a place in the first team. Stepped in comfortably for Andy Halls during periods of injury and suspension and looked at home at this level. Was badly unsettled by Rakine at Gateshead away and worse after his error allowed Wrexham a last gasp equalizer. Has great potential. 5/10

Will Haining Don’t think he was ever brought in as a first team player, and certainly did not feature enough to allow him to show his best form. Seemed to be unlucky with injuries, but perhaps could have done more to get himself in top condition. A couple of useful appearances showed that he is capable of doing a job when needed, but don’t think he has done enough to warrant another season at Macc. 4/10

Danny Rowe Rejoined in January from AFC Fylde and again proved a player with unfulfilled promise. He produces moments of skill, and can put a decent ball in, but often seems to drift out of games.Perhaps found his level in the Cheshire Senior Cup games, where he scored the goal to secure the trophy and played a key role against Stockport. Still can’t decide if he is worth another season. 5/10

Richie Branagan Looked like our next number 1 for all of pre-season until Taylor made a late return. Limited to appearances in the FA Trophy and Cheshire Senior Cup, where he showed that he is a good shot stopper, if a bit erratic at times. If Taylor departs then I hope he gets a chance to get some games for us, otherwise would be best to go and get playing some first team games. 5/10

Jack Hunter Another who struggled to get any regular football, both with Macc and whilst out on loan. Scored the winner in the Cheshire Senior Cup semi final against County and looked a tidy footballer throughout the campaign. Would like to see him given a chance in the first team squad. 5/10

Will Bailey – A promising ex youth teamer that was thrown in during an injury crisis. Looked pretty effective during pre season but has suffered with a bad knee injury for most of the season. Many fans will judge him on his poor showing away at Alty in the FA Trophy, but this would be unfair giving our much changed team. Hopefully will be retained as a squad player. 5/10

Jack Disney Yet to make a debut in the league and will have suffered from a lack of games. Looks hugely improved since he has reverted to a role in central defence or at left back. Could be a cheap option as back up to Barrow. 5/10

Liam Gibson Stuck in limbo for most of the season, failing to break into the first team, but not going out on loan to get some games. Didn’t look like he was capable of making the step up, but should be able to play at a decent level in the lower reaches of non-league. 4/10

Milan Thompson A player with obvious ability, but doesn’t seem to have the right attitude to make the most of it, Hopefully he can sort this out and become a useful player, but don’t think John will give him another season at Macc. 4/10

Sean Tighe Another player who will be frustrated with a lack of opportunities this season. Looked pretty solid in the Cheshire Senior Cup but will struggle to earn another chance here. 5/10

Left the club before the end of the season
David Gonzalez-Diaz Looked like a promising footballer, and certainly played a part in some of our better early season performances. Took a huge risk in coming to England for a trial and seemed to settle in well. A little unfortunate to be frozen out completely, but perhaps needed a touch more mobility to succeed for Macc. 5/10

James Thorne Appeared on the bench against Altrincham without any announcement of being signed, but didn’t manage a league appearance. Played in the Cheshire Senior Cup against Crewe but looked a long way off the pace. 4/10

Arthur Gnahoua A skillful player who was a real crowd pleaser but failed to produce consistently. Showed glimpses of his potential and scored vital goals in home draws with Halifax and Gateshead. Never regaining his place after injury and chose to try his luck in Spain. Could have stayed and played a role later in the season. 5/10

Malachai Lavelle-Moore Looked the part but never quite had the drive to succeed at Macc. Only managed one league start and did little to warrant more playing time. Hopefully can add some purpose to go with his physical attributes. 3/10

Domaine Rouse Another who was given only a taste of first team football. Scored a good header and appeared a handful against Eastleigh, but last played in September and failed to do enough to warrant a regular start. 5/10

Loan Players
Alex Grant A competent and committed loan player, who had to wait a while to get a regular starting spot. Will have learned a lot from playing competitive football, especially in partnership with Pilkington. Proved a solid left back when Barrow was injured and would like to see him back next year. Could progress into a good league player. 7/10

Luke Waterfall Looked a class act early in the season, forming a formidable partnership with Pilkington. Was a loss on his return to Scunthorpe, and his season stuttered on loan at Mansfield and since a permanent switch to Wrexham. 7/10

Jack Sampson Looked to have provided a much needed target man for the final play-off charge. Showed promising signs of a partnership with Fairhurst in the away game at Halifax, with excellent link play and a couple of well taken goals. Injury restricted his appearances. 5/10

Liam Hogan Settled well into a team that was on a good run. Looked a capable footballer and you could tell he has played at a higher level. Another who was sidelined by injury just when he had established himself in the side. 6/10

Denny Johnstone A battering ram of a striker who allowed the team to push up the pitch. More effective than aesthetic but was starting to find form when Birmingham decided to end his loan spell early and send him to Cheltenham, as they could pay a higher proportion of his wages than Macc. Would have developed into a goal threat with more games. 5/10

Adam Thomas Winger who came at the same time as Alex Grant. Restricted to ,just three substitute appearances, and never quite managed to convince that was worth a start. Sent back to Stoke early. 4/10

Mike Phenix A very strange signing who just didn’t looked able to cope with the demands of conference football after an awful illness. Appeared to lack any pace or mobility. Surprised he was given as many opportunities to play as he got. 3/10

Theo Bailey-Jones – Promising looking winger who joined late on in the season. Had a little bit about him, but struggled with the demands of conference football. Highlight was his goal in the Cheshire Senior Cup final. Plenty of effort but not sure he is cut out for this level. 5/10

Lee Bell – Ex player of the year returned on loan from Burton in January. I’m sure it was a coincidence but his loan spell coincided with our downturn in fortunes. Still a steady footballer, and is one of the few that will try and put his foot under the ball even when being pressed. Did improve towards the end of the season, but a bit too similar to Turnbull to be a real asset next season. 5/10

Tomi Adeloye – Pretty difficult to judge someone on one game. Scored 2 goals away at Hyde in the Cheshire Senior cup and appeared pretty lively. Would have featured but more but apparently didn’t have the best attitude and didn’t last long at the Moss. 5/10

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