In Focus: The League One stars of the season

Tom Hancock
LiveScore
Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Cooper kept the joint-most clean sheets in League One this term
Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Cooper kept the joint-most clean sheets in League One this term

Arguably stronger than it has ever been, League One lived up to its pre-season promise by delivering an enthralling campaign full of twists and turns. 

But it would not have been so memorable without a host of individuals starring along the way — from heroic goalkeepers to electric attackers. 

As the build-up to this weekend's play-off final between Sunderland and Wycombe continues, we take a look at the third tier's stars of the season.

Scott Twine (MK Dons)

After losing to Wycombe in the play-off semi-finals, MK Dons will hope to mount another promotion push next season — but they may well have to do it without main man Scott Twine. 

The 22-year-old attacker found the net 20 times and provided 13 assists, to finish the season as League One's joint-top goal contributor. 

Known for his lethal long-range strikes and free-kick ability, Twine took the division by storm and there could be even more to come. 

Speaking last month, he said: "I try and do as much as possible but there are so many things I can improve on and I will. 

"That's why I keep doing extras and I'll keep doing that because I know I can get a lot better." 

A move to the Championship — or perhaps even the Premier League — feels inevitable this summer.

Will Keane (Wigan)

Wigan's Will Keane finished the season as League One's top scorer with 26 goals
Wigan's Will Keane finished the season as League One's top scorer with 26 goals

No League One team scored more goals this term than Wigan's 82 — and no player was on target more often than their No10 Will Keane, who struck 26 times to clinch the Golden Boot. 

With seven assists to boot, the 29-year-old contributed to over 40% of his team's goals as they won the title.

The Latics will now return to the Championship after two seasons away, barely a year on from staring financial oblivion in the face. 

The Manchester United academy product, who made three senior appearances for the Red Devils, earned his first Republic of Ireland call-up in September and made his international debut in November's World Cup qualifying draw with Portugal.

Joe Jacobson (Wycombe)

Joe Jacobson supplied seven assists from defence for Wycombe in League One this term
Joe Jacobson supplied seven assists from defence for Wycombe in League One this term

Joe Jacobson's left foot is arguably the most dangerous in the Football League — and Wycombe's Welsh wizard has been using it to full effect again this term, with seven assists to his name.

The veteran defender, 35, has excelled across two positions, beginning the campaign as a left-sided centre-back in a three-man defence before reverting to his more familiar left-back role as manager Gareth Ainsworth switched to a back four late in the season. 

That tactical tweak took Wycombe on a 12-match unbeaten run and into the play-offs, where they defeated MK Dons 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. 

And Jacobson was in the thick of the action during both legs — his typically accurate corner set up Ryan Tafazolli for the opening goal in the first encounter before he made a sensational goal-saving tackle in the second.

Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham)

Michael Ihiekwe was decisive in both boxes for Rotherham this season
Michael Ihiekwe was decisive in both boxes for Rotherham this season

Rotherham's rock at the back Michael Ihiekwe played a pivotal part in yet another promotion for the Millers — their third in as many League One seasons. 

After all, Paul Warne's men kept a league-high 23 clean sheets and conceded a league-low 33 goals. 

A colossus in the air, Ihiekwe won 203 aerial duels over the course of the campaign — the fourth-most of all centre-backs in the division — and headed in three goals as the South Yorkshire outfit finished second. 

The 29-year-old former Liverpool youth player got creative too, setting up three strikes to go with the three he got for himself.

Michael Cooper (Plymouth)

Plymouth's 5-0 home drubbing by MK Dons on the final day deprived them of a play-off place — and cost Michael Cooper the Golden Glove outright, having to share the accolade with Wycombe's David Stockdale.

But the Pilgrims' No1 was arguably the best goalkeeper in League One this season, producing plenty of fine performances for the Devon outfit, who posted their highest third-tier points total since winning the division 18 years ago. 

The 22-year-old — who has already made over 100 first-team appearances since rising through the club's youth ranks — prevented 2.6 goals, the third-most of any custodian in the league.

Tags

League OneMilton Keynes DonsWiganWycombeRotherhamPlymouth
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