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Checkatrade Trophy

Team of the Tournament

The star performers of the 2018 Checkatrade Trophy

8 April 2018

Following another enthralling Checkatrade Trophy campaign, we’ve picked 11 standout players and a manager to form our Team of the Tournament.

Goalkeeper: Josh Lillis (Rochdale)

Lillis started the tournament with a clean sheet, before going on to be the hero from 12 yards in two of the following three matches.

The goalkeeper helped Dale to penalty shoot-out successes against Blackburn Rovers and Doncaster Rovers, prior to a late Round Three defeat against Shrewsbury Town.

Defender: Omar Beckles (Shrewsbury Town)

Beckles has been on top form to help Shrewsbury advance to the final, forming part of a stubborn defence and not missing a single minute of the competition so far.

In the semi-final, the versatile defender was named man of the match as the League One outfit kept Yeovil Town out to book their place at Wembley Stadium.

Defender: Anthony Gerrard (Oldham Athletic)

Gerrard marshalled the Oldham Athletic defence brilliantly as they made their way through the group stages with seven points and two clean sheets.

Another shutout followed in a 1-0 win at Bradford City, before the centre-back popped up at the other end to score in the Round Three win over Leicester City U21.

Defender: Tom James (Yeovil Town)

Yeovil Town’s run to the semi-finals was based on a solid back line, and James played all but 45 minutes of the Glovers’ six games in the competition.

The defender starred throughout, helping the Somerset outfit to successive clean sheets in the knockout stages to dump out AFC Wimbledon and Forest Green Rovers.

Midfielder: Kenji Gorre (Swansea City U21)

Four games, four goals – Gorre was in sensational form, although Swansea City U21’s run in the competition ended in a thriller against Charlton Athletic in Round Two.

The Dutch winger, who has gained EFL experience during a previous loan spell with Northampton Town, netted against Cheltenham Town, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers and the Addicks.

Midfielder: Marcus Maddison (Peterborough United)

The mercurial Maddison was key to Peterborough United’s run to the quarter-finals, creating and scoring the goals to see them through the group stage unbeaten.

A goal in Round Two against Southend United highlighted his importance again, but he was helpless to prevent the Posh falling to a 4-2 loss at Sincil Bank in the last eight.

Midfielder: Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea U21)

Hudson-Odoi was one of the star turns of Chelsea U21’s fine run to the semi-finals, setting the tone with a brace when the competition got under way back in August.

The 17-year-old also scored against Exeter City and Milton Keynes Dons, while delivering mature midfield displays to belie his teenage years.

Midfielder: Elliott Whitehouse (Lincoln City)

An ever-present in the Lincoln line-up throughout this competition, Whitehouse got the club’s first goal in this competition since 2007 with the opener against Mansfield Town.

Since then, his all-action displays at the heart of midfield have proved crucial in the Imps’ march to the National Stadium.

Midfielder: Shaun Whalley (Shrewsbury Town)

One of Shrewsbury Town’s creative forces, Whalley’s wing wizardry and expert delivery has been the architect of many side’s downfall in the competition.

The most crucial of assists came in the last four, when his corner was powered home by Carlton Morris, booking the Shrews’ place at Wembley.

Forward: Ollie Palmer (Lincoln City)

Palmer got off the mark for his new club with the winning goal against Mansfield Town in the opening group stage, one of three in the competition so far.

The striker netted in the knockout stages against Accrington Stanley and Rochdale, and remained cool from the spot to help the Imps edge past Chelsea U21 in the semi-finals.

Forward: Wes Burns (Fleetwood Town)

Burns laid the platform for Fleetwood Town’s success in the competition, scoring in each of the group games as the Cod Army won three from three.

The forward netted against Leicester City U21, Morecambe and Carlisle United before bowing out at the quarter-final stage.

Manager: Danny Cowley (Lincoln City)

New to this competition, Cowley set about adding this trophy to Lincoln’s cabinet and it’s been a case of so far, so good.

Guiding the Imps to a perfect showing in the group stages, the League Two outfit have seen off numerous teams higher in the EFL ladder en route to their first Wembley appearance.

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