Nearly men:'s alternative Premier Division Team of the Year

We pick XI players who will count themselves unlucky to have been left out of the PFAI line-up.

THE PFAI YESTERDAY announced their traditional end-of-season honours for the 2012 campaign.

Unsurprisingly, league winners Sligo Rovers dominated the awards nominations after capturing their first title in 35 years, while Drogheda United were notable absentees from the lists – which are voted on by the league’s players.

Below, we’ve decided to pick an XI who will feel unlucky to have missed out on being named in the Premier Division TOTY after outstanding seasons for their respective clubs.

Gabriel Sava (Drogheda United)

Italian stopper Gabrial Sava was excellent in the Drogheda team which captured the EA Sports Cup and are one game away from clinching second spot in the league. Mick Cooke, who has also managed him at Monaghan United, has admitted that Swedish club Hacken have expressed their interest in signing the former Lazio youth and may struggle to keep him at Hunky Dorys Park.

Credit: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Seamus Conneely (Sligo Rovers)

After being let go by Sheffield United, the 24-year-old was brought by Ian Baraclough along with Jeff Henderson and Ryan Connelly back in July. With Alan Keane out injured, the former Galway United full-back took his chance and excelled for the league champions both defensively and as an attacking outlet.

Credit: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Evan McMillan (Bohemians)

The Dubliner signed from St Patrick’s Athletic in January having been named fans’ POTY last season by the Saints and soon won over the Bohs faithful. Comfortable at centre-half or in the forward line, the former UCD man has been outstanding for Aaron Callaghan’s side and popped up with seven goals this term – including this special strike against Cork last month.

Credit: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Kenny Browne (St Patrick’s Athletic)

The Waterford native made the return to the Premier Division this term and was an ever-present at the for Liam Buckley’s newly-assembled squad, who could yet end the season with an FAI Cup and a runner-spot in the Premier Division.

Credit: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Simon Madden (Derry City)

Derry’s endured a frustratingly inconsistent league campaign in 2012 but Madden was terrific at right-back for the Candystripes, with next Sunday’s cup final at the Aviva Stadium still to come.

Credit: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters (Bray Wanderers)

Full of confidence, always keen to take on his marker and with an eye for goal, winger Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters proved a big player for the Seagulls this season. Pat Devlin will do extremely well to hold onto the 22-year-old.

Credit: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Danny Ventre (Sligo Rovers)

Captain fantastic for the title-winning Bit O’Red. Liverpool lad Ventre, who is suspended for tonight’s curtain-closer against Shamrock Rovers, showed leadership on the pitch and his role as a no-nonsense defensive midfielder allowed Sligo’s more attacking players to thrive.

Credit: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Paul Corry (UCD)

21-year-old Corry was a cut above the rest in the first half of the season, earning a call-up the Ireland U21s before Sheffield Wednesday snapped him up at the end of July.

Credit: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Gavin Brennan (Drogheda United)

One of three brothers playing for the Louth club this season, Gavin Brennan scored some crucial goals for the Drogs, who were the surprise package this time around. The midfielder’s exploits have led to interest from a host of clubs across the water.

Credit: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Gary Twigg (Shamrock  Rovers)

The Scottish striker will go down as one of the most prolific goalscorers to wear the green and white hoops. In what was a poor season for Rovers after winning back-to-back league titles, Twigg still managed to hit 20 goals – capping off his final appearance at Tallaght Stadium with a double last weekend.

Credit: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Jason Byrne (Bray Wanderers)

Some looked upon Byrne’s return to his first senior club as him winding down his career… it has been anything but that. The veteran striker had a major say in keeping Bray in the Premier Division and moved up to the second highest goalscorer in League of Ireland history.

Credit INPHO/Cathal Noonan

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