SOMETIMES when it comes to selecting a player-of-the-year, one obvious choice jumps out at you.

That was certainly the case last season at Worcester City with striker Mike Symons claiming the top accolade following his goalscoring exploits.

It looked to be heading that way this term, too, until the team’s Blue Square Bet North campaign came off the rails in quite spectacular fashion.

Nine defeats in a row completely took the gloss off what had been a promising season and cannot be ignored when it comes to picking the top player.

As it is, that history-making sequence has not changed my mind — I am still giving my vote to Tom Thorley — but the decision was not as straightforward as it might have been a couple of months ago.

The midfielder has struggled to maintain the sort of form that marked him out as City’s chief playmaker earlier in the season.

Perhaps that is because we have come to expect too much from a player who has, without question, been the most consistent in a City shirt over the past three years.

Indeed, during that time he had missed only seven of a possible 140 games before last night’s trip to Bishop’s Stortford, starting 130 of those, which is testament to how highly he is regarded by manager Carl Heeley and assistant Matt Gardiner.

In addition, he has picked up just five bookings in three terms — quite a feat for a roaming central midfielder — and is hardly ever substituted.

Incredibly, though, the 23-year-old’s efforts have never been acknowledged with a major honour due to either being up against equally strong competition or being fractionally too old for the young player award.

It is about time that changed but whether it does or not remains to be seen.

He has some competition this year again and several below-par performances of late might count against him among people with short memories.

His main rival for the top prize, in my opinion, is full-back Tyler Weir.

As with Thorley, his recent displays, with the exception of last Saturday’s victory over Hinckley United, had been below what we had been treated to at the start of the campaign.

This can largely be put down to him missing a month due to the facial injury he suffered in a fall outside a gym in January, which resulted in him losing teeth and undergoing hospital tests for bleeding to the brain.

Something like that has to have had an effect on him, mentally as well as physically, but his switch to left-back in recent matches, particularly against the Knitters, showed he is returning to his best.

Keeper Matt Sargeant cannot be ruled out for an honour either. Although he has played significantly fewer games than Weir and Thorley, he has had quite an impact when playing ahead of Glyn Thompson.

The former Tipton Town custodian has demonstrated top-draw reflexes on plenty of occasions this season, not least to earn City an FA Cup replay against Weston-super-Mare back in October.

In the young player category, injured left-back Ellis Deeney is the leading candidate but midfielder Matt Breeze might run him close on recent showings.