It only seems like yesterday that we were all desperate for football to return, and here we are a month into the season already. That can only mean one thing, and that is the first nominees for the Manager and Player of the Month award.
League Two has announced the shortlist for August, and with a few teams off to good starts and many players hitting heights that were perhaps not predicted, it was likely a tough decision to leave some out. Here though is the list of those in the running for the first piece of recognition of the new campaign
Graham Alexander – MK Dons
After putting Wrexham away on opening day, a clear message was sent to the rest of the division that the relegated team would be one to keep an eye on. So it has proved as the new boss made his team into an attack-minded force that went on to score a dozen goals throughout August.
Neil Harris – Gillingham
Since the turn of the calendar year, Gillingham’s form in the league has been hugely impressive. The run through August has carried on from the tail end of last season, and the good start will have fans hoping that it continues through the last part of the year and place them well into 2024.
Johnnie Jackson – AFC Wimbledon
It was hard to judge where the team would be after last season’s bad run-in. The summer has been fruitful though, and the squad has blossomed well. Unbeaten and impressive wins at Colchester United and Sutton United will have buoyed spirits early on.
Luke Williams – Notts County
Alongside Wrexham, this was the other favoured team to have a run at the league. In the first game of the season, they were given a big bump when Sutton rolled them over 5-1, but since then a steady improvement has delivered an unbeaten run and a place at the top of the table.
Abo Eisa – Grimsby Town
One thing is to have a reputation, it’s another to act on it. Eisa has hit the ground running and his early goals have kept a buzz around Blundell Park. Two long-range efforts were among his four goals in total.
Will Evans – Newport County
Going one better with six goals, Evans looks to take the game to the opposition with his power. A physically demanding player who does his fair share of work off the ball, as well as knowing where the goal is. The Exiles have been a free-scoring team so far, and that is largely down to this man.
Davis Keillor-Dunn – Mansfield Town
With their ever-worsening injury crisis, Mansfield will tell you they haven’t quite got going yet, so the rest of the league will be on notice when they finally get on track. One man who is trying to steer the right course is Keillor-Dunn, and his five goals so far have been telling in keeping the Stags unbeaten.
Jake Young – Swindon Town
It would’ve been hard not to include Young after his stunning four-goal salvo against Crawley in under half an hour. Add three more to the total and he tops the scoring charts, and he also has three assists, so he’s on Erling Haaland’s pace so far.
After narrowing the lists down to four in each category, the job becomes harder still to find a winner. If I had a vote though I think given the way the form has crossed into this season I would select Neil Harris for the manager award.
The scoring charts are hot, and this makes it tough to choose just one, but Jake Young just shades it, largely down to his four-goal blitz.