Until a fortnight ago, this was an easy decision to make. However, recent events have made it incredibly difficult. Filipe Morais has been a season-changer. In January, we hoped that we'd signed an attacking player that would provide enough goals to fire us to promotion in Adam Le Fondre. What we didn't know at the time was that we'd managed to bring in two players with that potential. Josh Vela has his most successful season in front of goal to date in his career; Gary Madine, whatever you think of him, has been crucial to the way we play, and has come into form at just the right time. Credit to Zach Clough and Sammy Ameobi also, who provided the creative spark in the formative months of the season.
However, the player of the year for me has to be someone who has played a key role throughout the season. Therefore, it came down to a toss up between our two centre halves, Mark Beevers and David Wheater. They're easily in the top five centre backs of League One (interestingly, I'd put two former Wanderers who were once deemed surplus to requirements, Chris Basham and Cian Bolger, in that top five also). David Wheater has been a revelation since returning after an incredibly brief hiatus. I questioned the wisdom of all parties when he re-signed in the summer, and I was wrong to do so. He's formed a fantastic partnership with Mark Beevers, and the two together have been the most fearsome centre half pairing in the division.
What swings it in Beevers' favour for me is his consistency across the season, and the impact he has had at the club. When I watched him at Wimbledon in August, he was easily our best player. He did the simple things right, and he did them well. It's his consistency across the season which has impressed me most. In February, some were talking of a dip in form for Beevers. I just didn't see it. More likely was we'd come to expect consistently high levels of performance from him. On his day, he's the best centre half in the league, and Bolton's Player of the Season for the 2016/17 season.