EFL Awards: Who Should Win, And Which Players And Managers Are Major Absentees?

The three-man shortlists for the EFL Awards have been announced
10:00, 12 Apr 2023

The EFL have announced their nominations for manager and player of the season in the Championship, League One and League Two. Three managers and three players have been nominated from each division and the winner will be announced on Sunday 23 April at the EFL Awards. 

But which players and managers are up for the big prizes, and which are the most shocking omissions? We’ve taken a closer look at each division. 

EFL Championship Manager of the Season

Vincent Kompany – Burnley

Mark Robins – Coventry City

Michael Carrick – Middlesbrough

Vincent Kompany is surely the favourite to scoop this award in his very first season in an English dugout. Burnley have secured promotion earlier than any other team in Championship history and should they win their remaining mathes, will break Reading’s record of 106 points. The Clarets have been superb this term, but there are also deserved nominations for Coventry City boss Mark Robins, and Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick. 

Boro appointed Carrick in late October when the club were just one point outside the relegation zone. He’s changed the entire playing philosophy and fired them up the table, into fourth spot. They were contenders for an automatic promotion until their recent drop off in form, but getting them inside the top six is well worthy of praise. 


Meanwhile, no manager in the division has had to deal with what Mark Robins has this term. Coventry couldn’t play home games at the start of the season due to a pitch situation that was out of their hands, and as a result, sat rock bottom of the league after 11 games. Dom Hyam was sold to Blackburn and the Sky Blues haven’t spent a single penny on transfer this term. Yet Robins, who has led Coventry from League Two up to the second tier, has got his side into play-off contention, despite losing all three attacking midfielders, including the influential Callum O’Hare, through injury. 

Absentees: Luton Town will feel hard done by that Rob Edwards hasn’t been included, given he has taken them up to third in the league, while Paul Heckingbottom looks set to secure automatic promotion at Sheffield United and Gary Rowett deserves praise at Millwall.

EFL Championship Player of the Season

Josh Brownhill – Burnley

Viktor Gyökeres – Coventry City

Chuba Akpom – Middlesbrough

Burnley certainly deserve some representation in this category and Brownhill, with six goals and eight assists to his name has been nominated ahead of Josh Cullen, Nathan Tella and Taylor Harwood-Bellis. Despite his impressive performances, the winner is likely to be one of the two forwards. 

Chuba Akpom is the league’s top scorer with a remarkable 26 goals and is enjoying by far his most profitable season of his career. He, along with Cameron Archer has transformed Boro’s forward line and under Carrick he has flourished. He has 28 goal contributions in comparison to Viktor Gyokeres’ 27, who many believe to be the best striker in the division. 

However, the Swedish striker is playing in a Coventry squad that is not as good as Boro’s, and he is often the entire attack for the Sky Blues. With no attacking midfielders fit, Gyokeres shoulders the entire responsibility for creativity and goals. He’s likely to earn a Premier League move this summer and this award would cap off a fine season. 

Absentees: Iliam Ndiaye is the most notable absentee. Given his sheer quality and success in a Sheffield United side destined for promotion, he can feel aggrieved at not being included. 

EFL League One Manager of the Season

Kieran McKenna – Ipswich Town

Steven Schumacher – Plymouth Argyle

Darren Moore – Sheffield Wednesday

A relatively straightforward choice as the top three teams in the league all have their managers nominated. Kieran McKenna led Ipswich on a remarkable run of wins to get them in contention while Darren Moore has steered Wednesday to top of the league at the time of writing. 

However, both clubs boast the strongest squads in the division. Meanwhile, Steven Schumacher has continued Ryan Lowe’s fantastic work at Plymouth Argyle to battle with the top two and automatic promotion isn’t out of the question. The next month will surely decide who comes out on top in this award - as unlike in the Championship, nothing is decided yet. 

Absentees: Michael Duff’s Barnsley are only five points from the automatic spots, and given he only joined in the summer, he has worked wonders. If he sneaks a top two spot then he should win the award, but the judges have to go on what they have seen so far. 

EFL League One Player of the Season

Aaron Collins – Bristol Rovers

Jonson Clarke-Harris – Peterborough United

Barry Bannan – Sheffield Wednesday

Top scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris has scored 24 goals, more than anybody else in the division this season, so his nomination is understandable. The powerful forward has been relentless in front of goal for play-off contenders Peterborough, while Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has enjoyed another stellar season. 

Meanwhile, Aaron Collins has been given recognition for his incredible output this term tht has seen him register 15 goals and 11 assists for a side that currently sit in the bottom half of the table. His individual performances have been exceptional, but there are also some notable absentees.

Absentees: Ipswich duo Conor Chaplin and Leif Davis could both be included. Chaplin is the second top scorer in the league and has been superb, while Davis has 11 assists from left-back for one of the most potent teams in the league. Meanwhile David McGoldrick has proved his class again for Derby County while Colby Bishop has scored 19 goals for Portsmouth. 

EFL League Two Manager of the Season

Paul Simpson – Carlisle United

Richie Wellens – Leyton Orient

Steve Evans – Stevenage

Leyton Orient were 20th in League Two when Richie Wellens took the job in March last year, and their turnaround has been staggering. He is a sure thing to win this award as Orient now sit top of the league, eight points clear of second place Northampton. They are almost certain to be champions and Wellens has played a major role in their revival, having been sacked at Salford City and Doncaster Rovers in the last three years. 

Steve Evans deserves credit for his own revival at Stevenage, after leading them unexpectedly into the top seven, although they looked like top three contenders until a recent downturn in form. Former England u20 coach Paul Simpson has found his groove with Carlisle, and they have their eyes on an automatic promotion spot, currently sitting in fourth. 

Absentees: Jon Brady has got Northampton going in the right direction after play-off heartbreak last season while Dave Challinor has continued Stockport County’s upward trajectory after promotion from the National League. 

EFL League Two Player of the Season, Sponsored by Sky Bet

Andy Cook – Bradford City

Sam Hoskins – Northampton Town

Carl Piergianni – Stevenage

Andy Cook and Sam Hoskins have both been goalscoring sensations this term with 44 goals between them in the league so far. Both will want to end the season with promotion, while Cook looks likely to win the Golden Boot with 24 to his name, four clear of his nearest rival.

Meanwhile, Carl Piergianni has been rewarded for Stevenage’s defensive displays this term as the captain has seen his side concede just 37 goals in 40 games so far. He’s also contributed seven goals, and is a constant threat from set pieces. 

Absentees: Kristian Dennis has shone for Carlisle United with 19 goals along with midfielder Owen Moxon, while Josh Gordon has perhaps gone slightly under the radar at Barrow. Stockport potentially deserve some recognition too, with Scott Wootton a standout for the Hatters. 

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