It’s not easy supporting Ross County.
There was a sense of optimism going into the home fixture with St.Johnstone on the opening day after securing seventh place the season before. By January we had seen Derek Adams shown the door and his replacement, Jim McIntyre, struggling to see his ideas for the team implemented. I was all but certain we were set for the drop. However, McIntyre made some inspired signings which were the catalyst to securing our Premiership status for another year.
The players below all played their part in the ninth place finish the club were able to achieve. Some were excellent, some were alright, and some were absolutely brutal.
Mark Brown – 5
His distribution really lets him down and has struggled for confidence this season. He started off as backup to Reguero but soon became first-choice, due to Reguero’s uninspired performances more than Brown’s quality.
Antonio Reguero – 4
County need a new keeper over the summer. The Spaniard has cost us a number of points this season and is heading out the door as a result.
Jordi Balk – 2
Pre-season fixtures suggested we could have ourselves a player that could drop deep and collect the ball from the back. We’ll never know if that was the case. Balk featured centrally and on the right-side of defence but never really looked comfortable.
Darren Barr – 4
He played through the pain barrier at home to Aberdeen and came out with a season ending injury. Once he recovered I’m sure he could’ve provided depth in the defence, a view not shared by the manager.
Scott Boyd – 7
Ginger Pele had a poor start to the season but once he had competition for places, he cemented his place in the team and went on to deliver the quietly consistent performances we’re used to. He’s signed a new two-year contract and will go on to surpass Mark McCulloch’s 287 appearance record at County.
Marcus Fraser – 9
Hasn’t put a foot wrong since his release from Celtic. He’s surprised me. His bursts down the right have been excellent. His goal in the 3-1 win over Partick Thistle was a beaut. Whether he will continue at right-back next season will be interesting. Despite being a natural centre-back, he looks at ease on the right. Regardless, we’ve got him for another two years – a great bit of business by JM.
Paul Quinn – 8
Prior to his arrival the defence was a complete shambles with different combinations yielding no results. He added a level of composure and a replacement for him could prove tricky. His partnership with Scott Boyd would only have gone on to improve, but after his departure a commanding centre-back will be the main priority over the summer.
Ben Frempah – 6
I’m absolutely gutted we won’t be seeing Frempah next season. He’s got so much raw potential. His aerial dominance was easy to see, but he was maturing every game and adapted to playing alongside varying levels of quality beside him at centre-half. The horrible injury he sustained in a development game was a real blow, but he will definitely recover and go on to greater things in his career.
Abdoulaye Meite – 0
He didn’t play once. A waste of a wage. You could argue that he was signed to put the fear of God into an underperforming Scott Boyd. If that was the plan, it worked.
Jamie Reckord – 8
The most consistent performer since arriving in January. Not only is Reckord solid defensively, he is very useful going forward and overlapping. His understanding with De Vita down the left will only continue to develop and will lead to numerous chances being created.
Steven Saunders – 4
There’s a good player there for sure. However, injuries have just killed his County career. If he can have one injury-free year, maybe in the Championship, I’m sure we’ll see him in the top-flight again.
Lewis Toshney – 3
The one player I forgot when writing this at the first attempt. He started with a solid debut against Inverness, but was released on deadline day in January.
Uros Celcer – 1
He wasn’t very good. He left the club by conceding a penalty and receiving a red card in the 4-0 loss at Hamilton. A fitting ending for the Slovenian.
Timothy Dreesen – 1
I had huge hopes for the Belgian centre-half. Those hopes were crushed when I realised he couldn’t head the ball, judge the flight of the ball or pass to a teammate.
Jim Fenlon – 1
*Shiver* I maintain he was signed by Derek Adams as a joke. He started six times for County. Six too many. Now with Hayes and Yeading in the sixth tier of English football. Need I say more?
Richard Brittain – 6
It’s hard to imagine a Ross County line-up without Brittain. Yet next season, we’ll have to do just that. Injury limited his season to 24 appearances, which included a number of games at right-back – a position he played in whilst prolonging surgery. I’m truly gutted he’s leaving. We’ll never see him over a dead ball again.
Joe Cardle – 4
I wasn’t excited by his signing whatsoever, he’s just not a top-flight player. However, if cutting inside was currency, then Cardle would be set for life. I’m sure he’ll do well if a Championship side approaches him.
Graham Carey – 6
Prior to Christmas, Carey was the best player in the team. However, once results started to pick up his form dipped and it looked like he wanted to leave. He was superb last year, but something just hasn’t clicked for him this campaign. A frustrating season.
Terry Dunfield – 2
What can be said for Terrence? In four starts he managed to pick up one yellow and one straight red card – and he only made the second half in two games. He didn’t play for the club again after he decided that Paul McGinn would look better with new shins. A malicious tackle inside ten minutes at Dens Park was the last we saw of the former Canada captain.
Jackson Irvine – 9
A headless chicken no more. Instead, he’s my player of the season. With high energy and flowing hair, the Aussie has been a welcome addition to County. He’s matured this season and is performances have been consistently solid. If we manage to sign him for next season we’ll have done very well.
Filip Kiss – 6
Another player that hasn’t lived up to his performances from last season. He’s obviously got a lot of technical ability, but I don’t know where he is best utilised. He’s capable of man marking players out the game as well as pushing further up the field. He should’ve been played ahead of Woods. A run in the team would’ve helped him.
Ruben Palazuelos – 3
Cracking name. He’s a good player without question, but he only featured sporadically and I’m not shocked to see him depart.
Rocco Quinn – 5
The decision to retain him over Brittain is an interesting decision. I like Quinn, but is he better than Brittain? I’d say no. It was good to see him score on the final day against Killie with a composed finish.
Steven Ross – 2
He decided to turn down a new deal and I think that’s best for everyone. I was still waiting for him to break into the team after scoring his first senior goal back in the 2012/13 season. I don’t know where his best position is and I’m beginning to wonder whether he does either. Hopefully he can get some first-team football under his belt.
Martin Woods – 6
Now here’s a player that split opinion. He flattered to deceive for the most part, and too often went missing in games. We needed someone in the middle of the park and he filled that void. I have no objections with him leaving for pastures new.
Raffaele De Vita – 9
The prospect of Liam Boyce feeding off De Vita’s crosses from the left for another two seasons is simply wonderful. The Italian has been superb. JM loves his wide players to get crosses into the box and De Vita has delivered. He simply oozes class.
Tony Dingwall – 7
A very exciting talent. The youngster has taken the chance afforded to him by JM and made a lasting impression. He’s quick, direct and his impact in the last home game of the season with Hamilton showed the influence he can have on games. He’s got a big future.
Michael Gardyne – 9
I’ve got to hold my hands up and say sorry to this man. I questioned the decision to bring in him in on loan from Dundee United. I was wrong to do so. He’s thrived cutting in off the wing and dragging defenders out of position, and he has contributed with some very important goals. He’s infectious and gives the team that little bit more energy than when he’s not in it. Some players fit certain clubs, Gardyne fits Ross County like a glove.
Darren Maatsen – 3
A player I had high hopes for. I maintain that he’s a good player, a very raw one granted, but a good player none the less. Felt he had more to give.
Yoann Arquin – 2
Bad for us. Bad for St Mirren. Just bad.
Craig Curran – 8
If one man could epitomise the type of play Jim McIntyre wanted to see, then Craig Curran would be that man. When we signed him he was advertised as a journeyman striker with a good work rate, which wasn’t surprising as that sounds like a typical County forward. Curran, however, is a far better player than people give him credit for. He uses his body well and is deceivingly good in the air. He’s signed a two-year deal which I don’t think any fan could grudge him. He’ll have a tough job of keeping Brian Graham out the team next season.
Liam Boyce – 9
I have very strong feelings towards this man. His second goal in his hat-trick against St.Mirren is one of the finest goals I’ve seen from a County player since entering the top-flight. His control, and the ease in which he megged Jim Goodwin, was something very special. He’s lost a lot of weight to get where he is today and I can’t wait to see what he can do in a full season.
Jake Jervis – 5
There was a point when he was the team’s top scorer. I still don’t know if I liked him or not, he was just so inconsistent. He could be posted missing one game and then turn in a statement-making performance in the next. Sadly, the latter was a bit of a rarity and his exit looked more likely to happen every week.
Melvin De Leeuw – 4
Oh, Melvin. Last season’s top scorer left in October for personal reasons and now finds himself in Thailand scoring last minute winners for Army United.
Darvydas Sernas – 3
I would’ve liked to have seen more of Sernas. His stint in goals against St.Mirren is probably the only memory I’ll have of him in Dingwall.
Jim McIntyre – 8
The belief this man has in his players should be commended. Sure he’s made some questionable decisions since arriving, but he’s guided what looked to be a sinking ship out of troubled waters. I was having doubts as to whether he could keep us up after the 2-1 home defeat to St Mirren in January, but he managed to turn it around. Once he brought in his own players and made the bold switch to go 4-4-2, abandoning his 4-3-3 preference, the progress was clear to see. I’m very optimistic with McIntyre at the helm and I’m curious to see who he manages to recruit over the summer. He’ll be targeting top-six.
WRITTEN BY IEUAN WILLIAMS
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