The Football League has announced its Football Manager Team of the Decade at The Football League Awards 2015.The all-star line-up, announced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Football League Awards, was revealed at the gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
The award recognises 11 outstanding players and one manager from the last 10 years who have excelled in the competitions of The Football League.
Clubs were asked to select their best players from the last decade and those names were then put forward for consideration alongside input direct from fans via social media and the roll of honour of previous Football League award winners. The shortlist for the Manager of the Team of the Decade was drawn up with the involvement of the Football Manager online community.
The Football Manager Team of the Decade is as follows:
Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel
A unanimous choice for the judges, Kasper has excelled since making his debut on loan at Darlington in 2006. Including Play-Offs, he went on to keep 100 clean sheets in The Football League over the last decade, including 23 during Notts County’s League 2 title-winning campaign in 2009/10 that saw him named in the division’s Team of the Season. He achieved that accolade twice more with Leicester City in the Championship, with the 2013/14 season seeing him achieve his second promotion of the decade as the Foxes went up to the Premier League as Sky Bet Championship winners.
Defender: Angel Rangel
Angel was one of the cornerstones of the entertaining Swansea City side that rose through the divisions to the top tier, earning promotion from League 1 in 2007/08 and then from the Championship in 2010/11. Angel’s form in the League 1 title-winning campaign saw him named in the divisional Team of the Season that year.
Defender: Gareth Bale
Gareth made his debut for Southampton at the end of 2005/06, the first season of the Football League Awards. In 2006/07, playing at left-back, he went on to take the Championship by storm. He won the Young Player of the Year at the 2007 Football League Awards and was named in the divisional Team of the Season after an outstanding campaign helping Southampton make the Play-Offs, before going on to become one of the global stars of the game.
Defender: Wes Morgan
Wes has been one of the defensive rocks of The Football League over the past decade, playing nearly 400 Football League games over that period with only a handful of players having appeared in more matches. Named in the Championship Team of the Season three times, once for Nottingham Forest and twice for Leicester City in successive seasons, he won promotion with both sides. With Forest, he was part of the side that kept 24 clean sheets to seal promotion from League 1, while helping secure the Sky Bet Championship title for the Foxes last term saw him win the first silverware of his career.
Defender: Ashley Williams
Ashely joined Swansea City when they were on the verge of promotion from League 1, going on to establish himself as one of the outstanding defenders in The Football League. He was named in the Championship Team of the Season in successive years, in 2009/10 and 2010/11, leading the Swans to promotion to the top tier of English football via the Play-Offs in 2011.
Midfielder: Wes Hoolahan
Wes has been one of the leading attacking midfielders in The Football League over the past decade. He has achieved three promotions – from League 1 with both Blackpool and Norwich City and then from the Championship with the Canaries. Wes was named in the divisional Team of the Season for all three of those promotion campaigns, with him being the leading assist provider in League 1 when Blackpool went up via the Play-Offs in 2006/07.
Midfielder: Adam Lallana
One of a group of Southampton players that won back-to-back promotions with the Saints from League 1 and the Championship, Adam is one of the most accomplished midfielders to have played in The League over the last 10 years. He was recognised in the divisional Team of the Season for both of those promotion seasons.
Midfielder: Peter Whittingham
One of the outstanding and consistent players in The Football League over the past decade, Peter has been both a creator and scorer of goals for Cardiff City on a regular basis. With 64 assists only four players have been responsible for providing more goals over the last 10 years, while Peter is the only midfielder to have topped the Championship scoring charts in the last decade, hitting 20 goals for the Bluebirds in 2009/10. He has been named in the Championship team of the Season three times, while he also won the Mitre Goal of the Year award at the 2012 Football League Awards.
Forward: Glenn Murray
With 128 Football League goals over the past 10 years, Glenn has been one of the most potent strikers around. A prolific spell at Rochdale was followed by a move to Brighton & Hove Albion where his goals helped the Seagulls to the League 1 title. A move to Crystal Palace saw Glenn hit 30 goals in a season to finish the top scorer in the Championship as the Eagles earned promotion through the Play-Offs.
Forward: Rickie Lambert
No one has scored more goals in The Football League over the last 10 years than Rickie Lambert, with him finding the net 153 times for Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Southampton. Named Championship Player of the Year at the 2012 Football League Awards, Rickie has achieved three promotions over the last decade. He has also been named in the divisional Team of the Season three times – once for Bristol Rovers (League 1) and twice for Southampton (League 1 & Championship).
Rickie has scored goals at every level in The Football League, finishing top scorer in League 2 (2005/06 – 22 goals), League 1 twice (2008/09 – 29 goals and 2009/10 – 31 goals) and Championship (2011/12 – 27 goals). Rickie doesn’t just score goals though – he creates them too, with 69 assists over the last 10 years. In fact, only three players have provided more assists in The Football League in that time.
Forward: Jordan Rhodes
Jordan scored on his first Football League start - on loan at Rochdale against Rotherham United in League 2 in 2008 - and has pretty much kept scoring since! That strike was the first of what is now a total of 152 goals he has scored in The Football League (excluding Play-Offs). Over the last 10 years no player has surpassed Jordan’s tally of 36 goals in a season for Huddersfield Town in 2011/12 that saw him named the League 1 Player of the Year at the 2012 Football League Awards. Jordan has been part of two promotion-winning sides - on loan at Brentford in League 2 in 2008/09 and with Huddersfield Town in 2011/12 via the League 1 Play-Offs.
Jordan has set goal scoring feats throughout the last decade, becoming the youngest ever Brentford player to score a hat-trick aged just 18, the first Huddersfield player to score back-to-back hat-tricks since the 1920s, equalling the Terriers' record of goals in a game with five against Wycombe Wanderers and equalling the Blackburn Rovers' record for goals in consecutive games.
Manager: Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe became manager of the Bournemouth in January 2009 and steered the club to Football League survival, despite starting the season on -17 points.
The 2009/10 season then saw Eddie guide them to second place in League 2, earning the first of his two promotions.
An 18-month spell at Burnley followed but he returned to AFC Bournemouth in October, and by the following April promotion to the Championship was sealed. Eddie is now considered one of the most talented young managers in the game, and continues to impress as his team looks for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.
With an overall win percentage of nearly 50 per cent from almost 300 games as a manager, Eddie’s teams play attractive football that delivers goals.
Many of the selected individuals were in attendance at the glittering ceremony to acknowledge their inclusion in the special line-up.
Eddie Howe said: "It's a privilege to pick up the award. A real surprise given the people that could have been chosen for the award. We're (Bournemouth) still in control of what we do this season, in a fantastic position so we'll see what happens."
Wes Morgan commented: "It's an unbelievable feeling to be voted in the top team of the last 10 years. Really highlights how much I have done in my career so I'm delighted to get this award and long may it continue. We've done well to get three wins in a row but the task is not over. We need a few more wins at least to beat relegation."
Kasper Schmeichel added: "It feels incredible when you see the keepers that have graced this league. I feel humbled and honoured to even be nominated but to actually be in the team is an incredible honour."
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "The 10th Football League Awards has given us the opportunity to reward outstanding performance, both on and off the pitch, during what has been a memorable Football League season.
"Each of our winners thoroughly deserves this recognition and, once again, we've seen exceptional levels of talent, dedication and achievement across all our nominees."
The Football League Awards 2015 were streamed live on The Football League's official YouTube channel and website, while highlights will be shown on Sky Sports 1 on Monday evening at 6:15pm and 9:15pm.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com or search for #FLAwards on Twitter, and other social media.