BROWNE ON THE BALL: Boston United’s Player of the Year vote is a two-horse race

In? Jordan Keane and Ashley Hemmings. Photo: Russell Dossett.
In? Jordan Keane and Ashley Hemmings. Photo: Russell Dossett.

Voting is open... and it’s not like you don’t have options.

Boston United are taking nominations for their Player of the Year award, calling on the public to have their say in who should follow in the footsteps of the likes of Paul Bastock, Paul Ellender, John McKenna, Martin Hardy and Chris Cook and claim the cup.

And with such a turnover of personnel, you lucky voters have a whopping 47 players to choose from.

But for me personally there is a shortlist of two: Ashley Hemmings and Jordan Keane.

There should be plenty of honourable mentions, but James Clifton, Brad McGowan, Jamie McGuire, Jay Rollins, Brad Abbott and Andi Thanoj just haven’t played enough games to be in with a shout.

The same goes for loanees Ben Middleton and Reece Thompson.

Kabongo Tshimanga has had one job to do, and he has stuck the ball in the back of the net with ridiculous regularity, but for all-round performance I think you only have two choices.

Hemmings and Keane both turned up in the summer in very different ways.

The winger arrived with a fanfare, convinced to drop out of the Football League and become the Pilgrims’ main man, providing the assists and chipping in with goals.

Keane, on the other hand, was a late addition, looking for a club after leaving Jamie Vardy’s academy until he got the call from his old Alfreton teammate Karl Hawley.

But both had something to prove.

The club’s structured, defensive approach under Adam Murray saw Hemmings struggle to reach his attacking potential early on, the former Wolves man even finding himself on the transfer list during a seven-game streak on the bench.

But under Craig Elliott he has looked a totally different player, making goals and scoring enough (especially calm from the spot) to see him top the club’s scoring charts.

While Hemmings’ game is based on flare, Keane’s is a contrast.

First and foremost, his role is to stop the opposition, break down attacks and do all the unpleasant stuff in defence and midfield.

Very much the surprise package of the summer, Keane has featured in every single league game for the Pilgrims, revelling in his role as captain and chipping in with goals at the right time (four of his six finishes have come in victories).

There’s a reason Hemmings and Keane have featured in more games than any others this season - without them the team is weaker.

Either would be a worthy winner of the award, and the other would be very unlucky to miss out.