League Two Midfielder of the Season: Craig Slater

No need to Slate him… – eadt.co.uk

It may be a sign of the Scottish Premiership’s financial struggles that a good player in that division would leave for a club in England’s fourth tier. Craig Slater was excellent for Kilmarnock between 2012 and 2016, fans praising his work rate as well as his technical ability, in terms of passing and set pieces.

Last summer the Scot deemed Colchester United, 400 miles south of East Ayrshire and hardly wallet-wavers themselves, to be a favourable career move. If Slater has benefited from the switch, the 10th placed U’s certainly have. The 22-year-old has provided crucial defensive balance in an otherwise forward-thinking midfield and proved an excellent professional.

Sadly, his season has ended prematurely. With a double hernia and groin problems, he had recently been playing through the pain barrier, such was his desire to help his team. Fitness issues unravelled and at the beginning of this month, it was announced that he will undergo surgery, leaving him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Luke Prosser, Frankie Kent, Kurtis Guthrie and Sammie Szmodics are also important players who are not expected back fit before May. Should Colchester make the top seven, from which they are currently one point off, it will be an achievement given their rotten luck with injuries.

Slater should take huge credit from this season, even if he won’t be around for the home straight.