Sun, Feb


The Swans have three representatives in the annual list of Top 50 Football League players published by FourFourTwo Magazine this month.

Top-scorer Jason Scotland (6th), dynamic Dutchman Ferrie Bodde (11th) and midfield partner Darren Pratley (14th) were selected by pundits, managers, fans and fellow players over a two-month period.

The Swans would likely have had a fourth player included, namely Jordi Gomez, who is mentioned by FourFourTwo but loanees from outside the Football League could not be included - 'hence the omission of the likes of Swansea's Jordi Gomez' it reads.

Another key absentee many would argue is Angel Rangel, the colourful Catalonian who has been labelled as one of the best full-backs outside the top-flight, but Reading winger Stephen Hunt has ranked the 26-year-old in second place in his Top Five.

Scotland was also the pick of the bunch by no fewer than six managers, players and pundits who were quizzed on their Top Five. Bristol City boss Gary Johnson had him down at number four; BBC Five Live's Mark Clemitt in third; Kevin Doyle (Reading), Matty Fryatt (Leicester) and Shrewsbury boss Paul Simpson ranked him in second spot while Wolves hot-shot Sylvan Ebanks-Blake rated him as the best the Football League has to offer.

Darren Pratley and Ferrie Bodde didn't even make the Top 50 last year despite a string of impressive performance at League One level. They've described the former as 'Leggy, with the ability to break up play and feed the more creative players around him,' while of Ferrie it's written: 'To those not au fait with the Football League, Bodde's lofty position in the Top 50 will raise eyebrows, yet those who have followed Swansea's rise from League One to the Championship will concur that his placing is more than justified.'

The 'Dutch Roy Keane', as he is also branded by the May edition of the publication, has an 'uncanny knack of scoring important goals and excellent decision-making skills.' As former Southampton boss Jan Poortvliet explains, "Ferrie knows when to kick, when to play, when to play hard and when to shoot."

Scotland's sixth place position will definitely come as no surprise to fans as his goal tally ranks him as one of the top-scorers in the Championship this term; and in 18 months with the club the Trinidad & Tobago international has racked up an impressive 50 goals.

"I really like his sheer strength and ability to turn either way in the box," said Mark Clemitt of the striker, who in last year's rankings occupied 32nd spot.

"He can carve out chances from the tightest of spaces."

1. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolves)
2. Kevin Doyle (Reading)
3. Michael Kightly (Wolves)
4. Stephen Hunt (Reading)
5. Kris Commons (Derby)
6. Jason Scotland (Swans)
7. Ross McCormack (Cardiff)
8. Karl Henry (Wolves)
9. Keiren Westwood (Coventry)
10. Joe Ledley (Cardiff)
11. Ferrie Bodde (Swans)
12. Kevin Phillips (Birmingham)
13. Chris Eagles (Burnley)
14. Darren Pratley (Swans)
15. Chris Iwelumo (Wolves)
16. Wayne Hennessey (Wolves)
17. Roger Johnson (Cardiff)
18. Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
19. Maik Taylor (Birmingham)
20. Matty Fryatt (Leicester)
21. Fabian Delph (Leeds)
22. Tommy Smith (Watford)
23. Kevin Foley (Wolves)
24. Kyle Naughton (Sheffield United)
25. Martin Paterson (Burnley)
26. Matthew Kilgallon (Sheffield United)
27. Daniel Fox (Coventry)
28. Miles Addison (Derby)
29. Sean St. Ledger (Preston)
30. Lee Carsley (Birmingham)
31. Marvin Elliott (Bristol City)
32. Noel Hunt (Reading)
33. Dexter Blackstock (QPR)
34. Rickie Lambert (Bristol Rovers)
35. Andy King (Leicester)
36. Jermaine Beckford (Leeds)
37. Marcus Tudgay (Sheffield Wednesday)
38. Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough)
39. Adrian Basso (Bristol City)
40. Grant Holt (Shrewsbury)
41. Simon Cox (Swindon)
42. Brian Stock (Doncaster)
43. Aaron McLean (Peterborough)
44. George Boyd (Peterborough)
45. Tommy Spurr (Sheffield Wednesday)
46. Mike Williamson (Watford)
47. Tommy Doherty (Wycombe)
48. Charlie MacDonald (Brentford)
49. Andy Bishop (Bury)
50. Marcus Bean (Brentford)