- Strikers starred in 2022-23 campaign
- Claimed Golden Boot honours
- Efforts recognised by their peers
WHAT HAPPENED? Former Middlesbrough striker Akpom, who is now on the books of Eredivisie giants Ajax following a £10 million ($13m) summer transfer, has been selected by his fellow professionals as the star performer among the Championship ranks last season. The ex-Arsenal frontman hit 28 goals for Boro in the league – and 29 in total – to land himself the Golden Boot and Michael Carrick’s side a place in the play-offs. That impressive haul included four braces and a hat-trick against Wigan on Boxing Day 2022.
Akpom saw off competition from Burnley's Josh Brownhill, former Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres, Carlton Morris of Luton, ex-Sheffield United star Iliman Ndiaye and Nathan Tella, who shone on loan at Turf Moor from Southampton last season.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In League One, the efforts of Chaplin helped Ipswich to secure automatic promotion into the Championship as runners-up behind title winners Plymouth. The 26-year-old enjoyed the most productive campaign of his career to date as he found the target on 26 occasions in the third tier – earning him a share of the division’s top scorer prize alongside Peterborough striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, who missed out on the award.
Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan, Bristol Rovers star Aaron Collins, ex-Derby striker David McGoldrick and Plymouth's Bali Mumba were also in the running for the prize.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Another Golden Boot winner has been selected as the cream of the League Two crop for 2022-23, with experienced frontman Cook starring for Bradford as they claimed a top-seven finish. The 32-year-old recorded six doubles over the course of the campaign and finished with 28 goals to his name in the fourth tier.
Cook beat a trio of Leyton Orient players to the award, with Paul Smyth, Omar Beckles and Lawrence Vigouroux all missing out. Salford's Elliot Watt and Northampton's Sam Hoskins were also in the final six.
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WHAT NEXT? While Akpom is now in the Netherlands, embracing a new challenge in his career, Chaplin and Cook remain on the books of the teams that they represented with distinction last term – with all three forwards hoping to see the goals flow freely again in 2023-24.