Wednesday, 29 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Craig Benson

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Craig Benson to take us through his world-beaters...

GK: Bobby Geddes
First choice when I started going to Killie games regularly. When he was good, he was very, very good. Still the holder of our shut out record. 22 in the promotion season. When he was bad, he was still streets ahead of the haddies we had between the sticks in the 2000s.

RB: Gus MacPherson
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's Super Gus! Or 'Former rangers player Gus MacPherson' to give him his proper newspaper name. It speaks volumes for the man that when we got Hodson on loan this past season, he was proclaimed as our best RB since Super Gus.

You can always tell the vintage of a supporter if they remember Super Gus with hair. Always worth at least 1 40/50/60 yarder a season. He didn't do tap-ins. Also holder of a unique goalkeeping record. Back in the days before sub goalies, Super Gus was our go to guy. Playing in goals a total of something like 5 times, he let in only 2 goals in that time. Both against the animals from Hibs, who had kicked Melly, studs first in the face during a league cup tie.

LB: Dylan Kerr
The first player I ever had on the back of my shirt. And the only one I've held on to. A god among men. Tough tackling, no-nonsense full back, with a penchant for fireman's lift celebrations.
Mr Legend, was just as comfortable bombing down the left wing to support the attack, as he was giving opposing right wingers the chance to inspect the turf at close range.
Noted for having a wicked free kick on him, though sadly always found himself down the pecking order for taking them (see the final game at Ibrox for euro qualification where he missed by the width of a bee's reproductive organ).

His only goal for us came in the Ayrshire Cup against the wee team in the county and boy oh boy did he enjoy it.

CB: Kevin McGowne
You could tell it was a proper game of football when Big Kev strolled out on to the pitch with his head swathed in bandages The rock on which attackers floundered at the heart of our defence for many years. McGowne exemplified everything you could possibly want in a centre back.
Tall, composed, fearless and the ability to chip in the odd goal or two. He scored the first in our run to the cup in '97.

CB: Paul Flexney
Again the number one choice when I 1st started going to games. And another strong, no nonsense CB with goals in his make up.

Pretty much an unsung hero when it comes to all time Killie teams. One should never forget his contribution to our first promotion and our consolidation in the 1st division.

RM: Ally Mitchell
You can't not have Bully. Signed from East Fife for around 100 grand and we easily got ten times our investment back.

An absolute bull of a man. He never quit from 1st whistle to last. Never seemed to tire. Always willing to do the donkey work so that our strikers could have something to feed off. A member of the exclusive 300 club. He played a pivotal role in every memorable Killie moment from his debut in 1991 'til he moved on in 2003.

LM: Shaun McSkimming
Though he played at LB for quite some time for us, Shaun really shone for us when he played in the more advanced LM position. With him bombing down the left & Bully bombing down the right, we were immense. If only he stayed a bit longer.
Has a special place in the hearts of Killie fans for his 'get it up ye' celebration against the wee team in the county in the cup in '94.

CM: Mark Reilly
If you look up under appreciated in the dictionary. A. It'll probably be spelled correctly. And 2, it will have a picture of Mavis next to it. Did the thankless, dirty work that no one else would do. But without him doing it, we wouldn't have been half as good as we were in the 90s
Two hugely successful spells with us, giving him membership of the 400 club. Mavis was the kind of player that we've been crying out for these past few seasons. Broke up play like a world beater. The first line of defence in front of the defence, not much got by him. And if they did, big Kev would eat them for dinner.
Had he played in Germany in the middle of his Killie career, we'd be sitting here talking about his 75 caps for Scotland & his 3 European cup winners' medals.

CM: Mark Skilling
The term, just back from injury & Mark Skilling sadly go together like mini sausage rolls & chocolate sauce. Hey! Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
Almost half his Killie career was lost due to injury. But when he was fit & healthy, he was an absolute star. The parts he played in our promotion season go largely unheralded. But without his willingness to drop back & help out our floundering defence midway through the season, we'd probably never have come up.

Famously infuriatingly shot shy to player/manager Tommy Burns, when he did have a pop, they usually went in. Four years with us & just about 100 games played. But he made every one of them count.

Here comes the hard bit... whoever you pick to fill these slots will result in internet flame wars a plenty but it is my favourite XI

ST: Calum Campbell
Our last ever part time player. His unwillingness to go full time hampered his Killie career. But whenever he got the nod, he gave it everything & was considerably better than some of the full timers ahead of him in the pecking order...
An in where it hurt type of striker, the sort of guy you want in a promototion scrap.
Joint top scorer in 91/92. Scorer of vitaly important goals in 92/93. Full time football's loss is the NHS's gain.

Another run through brick walls, in where it hurts type of striker, Broono was the best five grand anyone ever spent on anything ever. Against big, glaikit opposing defenders, he appeared to be three feet tall but when he leapt for a header, he'd make Peter Mayhew look like Kenny Baker.

Scorer of our first premier goal for nearly a decade. The former Ayrshire juniors player more than held his own against his supposedly more illustrious opponents... and Peter Grant.

So there you have it. My team of teams. And, it would comfortably finish in the upper reaches of our league, and would even bother the European places.

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @benson76

No comments:

Post a Comment