Andy Gillard makes the case for why Matt Doherty should be the Wolves Fancast Player of the Season 2018/19.
Wolves fans over the past few years have gotten used to our annual Youth Team purchase.
We might throw a few quid in the way of Leyton Orients for their up-and-coming 16-year-old Wunderkind.
And then 3 years down the line you think “Whatever happened to that lad we signed? What was his name again?” and it turns out he was quietly moved on to Wrexham without ever troubling the first team bench let alone getting a start.
Rewind a bit further, to the summer of 2010, to our annual jolly boys outing to Ireland.
Rather than coming back with a stick of rock and tales of kissing the Blarney Stone, Mick McCarthy brought a fresh faced 18-year-old back for a trail.
£75,000 later and young Matt Doherty became a fully-fledged Wolf.
Making his debut shortly before his 19th Birthday against Doncaster in the Cup, and getting his first league football in September 2011 in a spirit away loss at Anfield.
A couple of loans followed, and no one would’ve been shocked had Bury turned their loan-love into a permanent capture.
Thankfully, Bury’s fiscal troubles meant Matt Doherty came home and was put straight into first team action for the remainder of that fatally doomed Championship season; a speck of light in the darkest of times.
6-years on from relegation to League 1, Wolves are currently sat in the driving seat in the race for a place amongst one of Europe’s elite cup competitions next season.
So very much has changed at this club, but not our right-(wing)back.
Matt Doherty has become as much of the fabric of our beloved as any one before or since.
Yes, I am aware this is about the Wolves Fancast’s Player of the Season for 2018/19, and you could make an argument that The Doc deserves this most great of honour as recognition for his longevity, his commitment to our cause and his joie de vivre – OK maybe not that last one
Matt Doherty has been many things to many managers and the fact he is still here is amazing, the fact that he has improved year on year alongside the team is even more amazing!
At the start of the season Matt Doherty’s position was rumoured to be under threat with big-named wingbacks linked
However at the time of writing Matt Doherty is joint 2nd in the appearance charts having amassed 41 appearances featuring in every league game and most cup matches.
He is 3rd in the overall goalscoring charts behind forwards Jimenez and Jota also.
In a season where every Wolves fan had their love of the FA Cup reignited, no one played a bigger role than Matt Doherty.
With 4 goals and 3 assists, no one has contributed to more goals in the English premiere cup competition than Matt Doherty, with only one game to go, Gabriel Jesus with 3 goals and 2 assists, is the only player who could top Matt’s output.
If not Matt Doherty, I struggle to think of another player more deserving of being crowned the player of the tournament.
As an attacker Matt Doherty has shown more than a willingness to get forward.
Being open for *that* fading ball over the top from Coady so regularly that it almost became a joke amongst Wolves fans that opposition teams obviously had never seen us play
Otherwise they would’ve taken steps to counter such an essential outlet in our attacking arsenal.
Scoring vital match winning goals away against Crystal Palace and deep into stoppage time against Newcastle, the 2nd in a 40-year old curse, breaking 3-1 victory over Arsenal and grabbing a handful of assists to boot.
Very few defenders can boast the return of Doherty this year in any team!
Not only has Doc enjoyed success going forward, but defensive work has put Wolves in a position to break their record regarding goals conceded.
In 2009/10 we finished the season with 8 clean sheets and having conceded only 56 – to not beat this would take a drop off of catastrophic proportions, and as it stands we are currently equaling our Premier League record of 8 clean sheets in a season with a couple of games to go.
As part of our defensive unit, Matt Doherty has played his role in not only our most successful top flight campaign in recent history, but one of the most successful seasons in the Premier League of any newly promoted team.
All this and Matt Doherty became the first Wolves player to have been awarded the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month at the Premier League level, his form has seen him linked to a host clubs chasing the Top 4.
Opposition fans and managers alike have sung the praises of the man from Dublin. I think it’s about time we started singing his praises a bit more too.
He deserves a good chant from the fans, especially as next year will be his tenth season in Old Gold, not bad for £75k.
Does Doc and his Irish charm earn your vote for the Wolves Fancast player of the season award 2018/19?
How to Vote
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