The 11th edition of Isle of Man Newspapers’ Team of the Week of the 2022-23 season welcomes another four newcomers to the hypothetical XI.
The quartet of debutants means that there have now been 82 different players involved in TotW so far this season in the Canada Life Premier League.
A new name to impress Eric Clague’s player ratings panel was Gareth Williams who shone for DHSOB on Saturday, producing several important saves to ensure a potentially vital victory for the Blackberry Lane side over high-flying St John’s. As such, he dons the goalkeeper gloves in the latest TotW.
Sitting in front of him is a traditional four-man back four comprising Peel’s Luke Doherty, Rushen United’s Ste Riding, Corinthians’ Stewart Smith and Douglas Royal’s Aaron Babb.
Doherty enjoyed another superb game at the back and was one of Peel’s key performers during the league leaders’ victory over Ramsey, while Riding delivered a quality display in a somewhat unfamiliar position - alongside the impressive Scott Mason - to help the Spaniards edge past Laxey and was named as the player of the day.
Smith was Corinthians’ top performer as the Whites boosted their title challenge with victory away at defending champions Ayre United - a result which keeps his side unbeaten so far this season - while Babb was a key player in Royal’s defence as they recorded a significant victory over St George’s at Glencrutchery Road.
The three-man midfield is made up of Old Boys’ JJ Ballanda, Peel’s Matty Woods and Corinthians’ Ryan Gartland.
The latter continued his impressive recent run with another fine game in midfield to help inspire the Whites to come from two goals to defeat Ayre, while in-form Woods led by example to help Peel triumph over Onchan at Douglas Road to remain six points clear at the top.
Ballanda was instrumental in helping Old Boys clinch a first away win of the season which moved them out of the dreaded dropzone at Geordies’ expense.
Union Mills all but secured their place in the Railway Cup for the first time in the club’s history with a dramatic late win over Onchan, therefore two of their number lead the line in the latest Team of the Week.
Luke Booth, one of this season’s star performers, racked up his fifth TotW call-up of the campaign already after playing an important role for the Millers, laying on two assists and helping himself to a goal.
This while team-mate Tyler Hughes put the Os’ defence to the sword with a well-taken two-goal salvo to ensure the Garey Mooar side made it an impressive seven wins in a row.
Joining them in a three-man attack is Douglas Royal’s Harley Jackson who, like Hughes, plundered two goals during a fine performance to help the Whites brush St George’s aside.
Claiming the refereeing honours this week is the familiar face of former Referee of the Year Stuart Kneen who shone with the whistle during the Peel v Ramsey clash at Douglas Road.