With the season over I decided I would conduct my own awards through player ratings and stats from games I have reported on.
Player of the Year
3rd Place: Rab Douglas (Average rating of 6.39 from 18 games)
Rab signed for the Loons as a player/goalkeeping coach in the summer and had to settle for a place on the bench to begin with, bar an appearance at former club Dundee in the Challenge Cup in August. After Darren Hill suffered an injury in late October/early November, Douglas took over the number one shirt, putting in the type of performances that endeared him to Dundee fans including a great penalty save in the Scottish Cup replay victory over Angus rivals Brechin City. An injury ruled him out of the rest of the season in mid March, but the big keeper has signed on at Station Park for another year.
2nd Place: Gavin Swankie (Average rating of 6.55 from 29 games)
Appointed captain for the season after a serious injury to Mark McCulloch, Swankie had a great start to the season when he scored twice in the 2-1 League Cup victory over Rangers. He struggled to score between then and the end of the year, scoring just twice , in September against East Fife and Rangers again in December. He scored six in six between early February and mid March before injuries and suspensions forced him to miss games towards the end of the season. Thirteen goals saw him finish joint top goalscorer with Dale Hilson, Swankie also signing a new two year contract during the season to keep him here until 2016.
The first Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Year goes to…
1st Place: Dale Hilson (Average rating of 7.19 from 27 games)
A completely different player from his last three loan spells. He came back to Station Park in late August for the fourth time and I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it was a good idea to bring him back, but I soon changed my mind, his performances this season have been great. Stranraer at Stair Park, Ayr United at home, Brechin away and Dunfermline at home amongst his best games. He also more than doubled his goal tally while at the club this season, scoring thirteen when in the previous three seasons he had scored just ten.
Dale has possibly broken a record for the amount of appearances made at a club while on loan, making 113 appearances for Forfar.
Top Goalscorer: Dale Hilson (12 goals in 27 games)
Performance of the Year: Stranraer 0 Forfar Athletic 4, 11th March 2014
Possibly one of the best performances I have seen in my time watching Forfar.
Going down to Stranraer on a cold Tuesday night when we don’t particularly have a good record there, I wasn’t expecting much so to see us win 4-0 was a shock.
Goals from Dale Hilson, Gavin Swankie, Omar Kader and a Martyn Fotheringham penalty sealed a magnificent night for the Loons, who had been playing for over an hour with ten men due to Darren Dods being sent off for a last man foul.
Honourable mentions to Martyn Fotheringham, Ross Campbell and Chris Templeman for reaching the 200th game milestone during the course of the season. Iain Campbell passed the 150 games mark while loanee Dale Hilson made his 100th appearance in sky blue towards the end of the season.