For many reasons it was a season to remember for Dundee United.
The 2019/20 campaign will go down as one of the club’s best and certainly the most bizarre.
The Championship title was won, and with it promotion back to the big time after four long years away, all amid the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19’s shutdown of Scottish football meant a season cut short for Robbie Neilson’s men, who were crowned champions with eight games remaining.
Sitting 14 points clear, the Tangerines were destined to canter home after leading from day one, with some big individual performances from key men helping them along the way.
Tonight, Tele Sport tots up its Terrors player ratings, counting those with more than 15 starts across league, Scottish Cup and Betfred Cup and scored as an average out of 10, to crown United’s Player of the Year.
Lawrence Shankland – 7
Of course, that man is Lawrence Shankland. His 28 goals, ultimately, made the difference for United after three failed promotion attempts.
The hitman’s highlights include four on Championship opening day against Inverness, a late double which saw United comeback to beat Arbroath, a perfect hat-trick and 10/10 performance at Partick and two goals in Dundee derbies.
The 24-year-old Scotland international’s goals this season will be long remembered but the quality of his overall play shouldn’t be forgotten either.
Nicky Clark – 6.95
Injury curtailed his campaign in January but, make no mistake, Nicky Clark played a huge role in the Tangerines’ title success.
Fitness problems meant he had a slow start to the season but once he got going there was no stopping the 28-year-old. Autumn brought seven goals in 10 games and, playing in the No 10 role, he was often involved in everything good United did offensively.
The ex-Rangers man scored in two derbies but Clark’s best goal came against former club Dunfermline in October, a sumptuous free-kick which started his purple patch.
Paul McMullan – 6.83
Tricky wide man Paul McMullan is another Terror whose season was dogged by injury but his inclusion in this list will come as no surprise.
He was United’s second-best player the season prior, behind Pavol Safranko, and he has proven vital once more, chipping in with three goals and nine assists in league football.
Championship defences struggled to deal with his blistering pace, driving runs and precise deliveries into the box. Top-flight football will be a big test of McMullan’s credentials.
Louis Appere – 6.68
Louis Appere rise to prominence at Tannadice is truly Roy of the Rovers stuff. Not many would have foreseen the season the 21-year-old attacker had – if they did, they’re lying.
Less than 12 months ago he was tearing up the turf at Whitton Park for Broughty Athletic juniors, fast forward to the present and he is undoubtedly United’s Young Player of the Year and a key cog in their title wheel.
The big forward was impressive all-term, netting six goals in 33 appearances, with his volley in the
6-2 derby win and curling cup effort against Hibs the standouts.
Benjamin Siegrist – 6.64
It perhaps comes as no surprise there is only one defensive player to make the top five for such a swashbuckling United side but Benjamin Siegrist has been excellent.
The giant Swiss stopper is, arguably, the Terrors most improved player of the last couple of seasons and tops the second-tier charts with 12 clean sheets in 28 games.
He is a first-rate shot-stopper and will relish testing himself against the best the Premiership has to offer next term.
Making up the top 10 and deserving of an honourable mention were – Sam Stanton 6.63, Jamie Robson 6.62, Calum Butcher 6.59, Liam Smith 6.52 and Paul Watson 6.52.