The new Manx football season can mean only one thing: Isle of Man Newspapers’ Team of the Week is back.
The 2021-22 campaign kicked off last weekend with a raft of fixtures taking place around the island in the Canada Life Premier League.
DHSOB are the early pacesetters after they got the better of Marown at Blackberry Lane, therefore it’s no surprise to see Dean Turton’s charges well represented in the first hypothetical XI of the season.
Sam Holliday impressed in between the sticks for Old Boys as he produced several excellent saves to thwart the visitors and he duly dons the number one shirt in Team of the Week.
Lining up in front of him in a traditional four-man defence are Rushen United duo Scott Mason and Ashley Blake alongside Ayre United’s Jamie Callister and Ramsey’s Calvin Koske.
With regular starters Alex Maitland and Adam Cooil in action for FC Isle of Man, Mason and Blake stepped up and performed admirably for the Spaniards as the southerners claimed the latest Old Firm bragging rights against Peel.
Indeed, new signing Blake made an instant impression by scoring a goal in Rushen’s 2-0 victory at Douglas Road.
Callister was in fine form himself as the Tangerines held reigning top flight champions Corinthians to a 2-2 draw at Ballafletcher, going close to scoring before setting up an 88th-minute equaliser for the northerners.
Koske shone at left-back for Ramsey during the northern derby at Scoill ree Gorree, with most of his side’s attacks being instigated by him while his link-up play with Dylan Pickles was a constant threat to RYCOB.
Only a goal behind Old Boys at the top of the table are Laxey after the Miners saw off the spirited challenge of newly-promoted Union Mills.
Starring in that match at Garey Mooar was Laxey’s Harry Walters and Sean Gavin who impressed Eric Clague’s player ratings panel and duly take their place in a four-man TotW midfield.
Joining them in the centre of the park are Corinthians ace Danny Gerrard and DHSOB star Robbie Ward.
Gerrard played a key role in the Whites’ aforementioned draw with Ayre, having a hand in the second goal in fine performance throughout.
Ward was undoubtedly the star of the match at Blackberry Lane as he bagged a superb hat-trick to help his side to a 5-2 victory and was named as the player of the day for his efforts.
Leading the line in the first Team of the Week of the 2021-22 season are Rushen’s Aaron Hawley and Marown’s Nathan Draper.
Hawley led the line for the Spaniards in their Old Firm victory at Peel and got on the scoresheet in the 78th minute to seal the three points.
Likewise, Draper was amongst the goals at Blackberry Lane as the former pro cyclist helped himself to a brace against Old Boys and was only denied a hat-trick by fellow Team of the Week incumbent Holliday late on.
Another to excel in that match was the man in the middle, Stuart Morris, who was named as the first Referee of the Week for the new campaign,
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Sam Holliday (DHSOB)
Scott Mason (Rushen)
Jamie Callister (Ayre Utd)
Ashley Blake (Rushen)
Calvin Koske (Ramsey)
Harry Walters (Laxey)
Danny Gerrard (Corinthians)
Sean Gavin (Laxey)
Robbie Ward (DHSOB)
Aaron Hawley (Rushen)
Nathan Draper (Marown)
(DHSOB v Marown)