World Football

Danny Ings and Ross McCormack Headline Championship Team of the Year 2014

BARNSLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 19:  Ross McCormack of Leeds United celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and Leeds United at Oakwell on April 19, 2014 in Barnsley, England, (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2014

Danny Ings, Ross McCormack and Danny Drinkwater lead the newly announced Championship Team of the Year after fine seasons with Burnley, Leeds and Leicester respectively.  

The impressive trio were obvious choices after being nominated for this year's Player of the Season award, detailed by the Football League's official website

Here's the final XI, detailed by Kevin Palmer of Sunday World:

It is mouth-watering to imagine a Championship side that includes both Ings and McCormack. While the former emerged victorious in the battle for the season's individual prize—reported by the Football League—McCormack is currently the division's top scorer with 28 goals in 45 appearances, as noted by WhoScored.com.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Danny Ings of Burnley celebrates the goal of team mate Jason Shackell with Paul Robinson, Goalkeeper of Blackburn Rovers looking on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Burnley at Ewood Park on
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ings has 20 goals in 39 appearances, an excellent return for the young player who is said to be garnering interest from Premier League clubs such as Stoke, reported by Alan Nixon of the Mirror. McCormack's inclusion is all the more impressive considering Leeds' lowly league position and the fact he has netted the large majority of the club's goals. 

Unsurprisingly, Leicester's early title win sees the Foxes dominate this year's list. Perhaps most deserving of inclusion is Drinkwater, the ex-Manchester United midfielder who has finally established himself away from Old Trafford.

Drinkwater's all-action displays have seen him average 2.2 tackles, 1.8 clearances and 1.5 shots on target per match, highlighting his multi-faceted role in the centre of the pitch, per WhoScored.com. He has also added seven goals and three assists along Leicester's rise to the Premier League, making him an important figure moving into a testing 2014-15 season.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18:  Danny Drinkwater of Leicester City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Leicester City at Elland Road on January 18, 2013 in Leeds, England,  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Jamie Vardy has also performed admirably across multiple duties, scoring 16 goals in 37 matches. Often deployed as a striker or wide of the box, he continues to impress after a career of frustration. Vardy was playing non-league football in 2012 and contemplating "giving up the game less than 12 months ago," according to Owen Phillips of BBC Sport, underlining his remarkable rise to prominence.

Kasper Schmeichel is also decent value for his inclusion after enjoying 16 clean sheets throughout the campaign. Although Schmeichel has a formidable defence ahead of him, the Danish stopper has made a number of key saves when called upon.

Let's not forget Schmeichel was also largely credited with scoring a late equaliser during March's 1-1 draw with Yeovil—although the referee waited for Chris Wood to slot home the keeper's goal-line rebound before blowing his whistle—as posted by Football Vines:

Andy Reid makes it into the team after a productive campaign for Nottingham Forest. The attacking midfielder's nine goals and 13 assists aids Forest's pursuit of a play-off place, giving the famous club hope of top-flight football next season.

In defence, the performances of Kieran Trippier headline an imposing back four. The full-back's assist total of 14 is a league high this campaign, per WhoScored.com, and perfectly sums up the ambitious attack Burnley have produced on their way to second.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Andy Reid of Forest scores a penalty to make it 2-1 during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Leicester City at the City Ground on February 19, 2014 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Re
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Once again this year's Championship has remained competitive until the last. While Premier League stars receive the most plaudits, England's second tier shouldn't be underestimated. Players such as Ings, Trippier and Drinkwater have key responsibilities heading into the upper division, for which they should be fully prepared after a gruelling 2013-14 schedule.

It will be extremely interesting to see if any of these players can replicate the efforts of Mile Jedinak, Joel Ward and David Marshall, three individuals who have confidently stepped up to the Premier League this season.

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