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Its that time of year again .... time to go through all the polls and calculate who is winning the race to be the 16th recipient of the CaleyThistleOnline Player of the Year award. The CTO - POY award was started in season 2000-2001, and other than the Supporters Club / Trust Player of the Year award, it is the only external award recognised officially by the club and included in their year on year stats, a fact we are very proud of. An interesting fact about our award is that in the 15 years of its existence it has never been won by the same person twice, although, to be fair, it has often been won by a player who has made such an impact with ICT that he has moved onward and upward at the end of that season or the next. Ryan Esson, who won the trophy in 2010-11 is the only player still on the books who has won it before. Last year Marley Watkins was like a runaway train in this poll. He amassed the highest quantity of votes and points for 4 out of the first five months of the season as well as the last two months of the season and won it with 79 points. His closest rivals were Graeme Shinnie - looking to be the first ever player to win it for a second time - and Greg Tansey who both amassed what would normally be a respectable total of 44 points each. Ryan Christie and Josh Meekings rounded out the top five with 36 and 29 points respectively. So onto season 2015-16 and with several of the top points scorers from last season gone, it was a question of who would step up and take the challenge this year .... The season started early with our Europa League debut and Gary Warren was the front runner that month winning the Player of the Month and grabbing maximum POY points in both games against Astra Giurgiu. In August, with a heavy six game schedule, Danny Williams grabbed the monthly honours on number of votes received, closely followed by Ryan Christie and Owain Fon Williams. Christie however jumped into the points lead in the standings courtesy of more of his votes being first place votes. September and October belonged to Miles Storey and it was beginning to look like he "might do a Marley" but up stepped CTO sponsored player Liam Polworth to grab the honours for November and December. Miles was back at it again in January winning the Player of the Month again, but Ross Draper, Owain Fon Williams and Carl Tremarco have all taken it in the last three months. With one month, and three games to go, so a maximum of 15 points up for grabs, there are still 5 players who can win it. Miles Storey currently leads with 51 but he is only 5 points ahead of Ross Draper. Gary Warren, Owain Fon Williams and Liam Polworth are a little further behind, but not out of it by any means. Click on the graphics below to view the current standings.
Third time’s a charm Next up for Inverness Caley Thistle is Partick Thistle at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in this week’s midweek fixture card. Caley Thistle currently sit 9th place in the table only gaining 1 point from the first two games of the season. Partick sit in at 11th having also started in similar style to Inverness where they only picked up 1 point however Thistle have failed to score a goal so far. Both teams will be eagerly looking to get their first win of the season which should make for a good game to watch for the spectators. Last Saturday saw Caley Thistle earn a hard a fought point which could have easily been all three. The performance at McDiarmid park was undoubtedly a massive improvement from the previous week and Yogi got the boys fired up for this one from the off as it only took a mere 9 minutes for Ryan Christie to drill the ball into the back of the net. I was pleasantly surprised with the ‘makeshift’ defence as I felt that Ross Draper and Danny Devine combined for a good defensive pairing. Liam Polworth got the nod ahead of Nat Wedderburn and it proved to be the correct decision by Yogi as he put in a good shift in the middle of the park with a range of very good passing play from the local lad. As the game went on the Inverness players started to tire and Tommy Wright brought on Graham Cummins who headed a bitterly frustrating equaliser for St Johnstone. Partick Thistle hosted last year’s league champions Celtic at Firhill. Celtic got all three points in what seemed to be a dominant 2-0 victory for the parkhead side. It was also said that the Jags played the game without a real striker and a couple of important players in defence were missing through injury/suspension - sound familiar? Tomorrow night’s game will see Pogba grace the highlands for the first time. Fortunately for the Caley Jags it will not be Juventus superstar Paul Pogba, it will be his older brother Mathias Pogba brought in from Crawley Town following his release. All the eyes will be firmly on how Pogba will fare against Inverness especially with the ‘makeshift’ back four. Alan Archibald has also added David Amoo from Carlisle United, Callum Booth and Tomas Cerny from Hibernian and also Gary Miller from St Johnstone. Thankfully for Caley Thistle, Partick Thistle will be without winger Kallum Higginbotham after he departed for Kilmarnock. Conrad Balatoni, James Craigen, Ryan Finnie, Scott Fox, Dale Keenan, Stephen O’Donnell and Ben Richards-Everton also left the club in the summer window. Last season’s results against Partick do not really paint a good picture for Inverness especially in the home fixture. Since Partick Thistle got promoted back up to the top flight in 2013, Caley Thistle have only won once against them at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. Inverness New signing Iain Vigurs could make his second debut for the club tonight. Aaron Doran, Carl Tremarco and James Vincent could make a return to the side. Richie Foran, Josh Meekings and Jordan Roberts remain doubtful ahead of the game. Dean Brill and Gary Warren remain on the sidelines due to long term injuries. Partick Thistle Frederic Frans returns from his one match suspension. Steven Lawless and Danny Seaborne are injury doubts. Christie Elliot will be unavailable for the visitors. ICTRoughi’s prediction:- I honestly think we will pick up our first win of the season here. Partick Thistle always had our number last season in the league but I think the tides will change and we will get a good hard fought win.
Graham Cummins spoiled the party for Inverness right at the end after a 9th minute Ryan Christie goal had looked like securing all three points for Caley Thistle. We hope to have a full match report up later. Date: 08/08/15 Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth Attendance: 2959 Referee: Willie Collum St Johnstone: 1 Lineup: Mannus, Shaughnessy, Scobbie, Wright, Easton, Wotherspoon, Davidson, Lappin (Cummins 61), Craig, Sutton (MacLean 60), O'Halloran Subs (not used): Clark, McKay, Caddis, Brown, Kane Scorers: Cummins (90) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Draper, Devine, Williams, Horner, Polworth, Christie, Tansey, Mbuyi-Mutombo, Lopez (Sutherland 83) Subs (not used): Esson, Wedderburn, Ferguson, Brown Scorers: Christie (9) Booked: Christie (93) Sent Off: none