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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back at a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…
The 2014/2015 campaign didn’t offer many shining lights for Leeds United, but one academy graduate really stood out with Alex Mowatt making his mark on the club.
Looking back, the season was a strange and disappointing one for Leeds as they registered their joint lowest finish in a division, finishing 15th in the Championship. It was the first full season under new owner Massimo Cellino with the Italian’s company buying 75% of the club’s shares back in April of 2014. The drama of his tenure at the helm started in controversial fashion with Dave Hockaday being appointed as the club’s first team manager despite only ever managing in the fifth tier of English football.
Whilst all of the controversies off the pitch hit the headlines, Mowatt was coming into the 2014/2015 campaign off the back of a solid breakout season which included him winning the club’s ‘Young Player of the Season’ award. Despite his promise, Hockaday opted to leave the academy graduate out of the side which halted the development of the combative midfielder, but his run on the sidelines wouldn’t last long as Hockaday was relieved of his duties after just six games in charge.
Former caretaker Neil Redfearn was appointed to take over side until Cellino could find a replacement for Hockaday with the interim manager bringing Mowatt back into the side with the midfielder starting to show glimpses of his natural ability. Even when Leeds United appointed Darko Milanic as the club’s new manager in September, Mowatt continued to be a part of the first team and had started to become a huge influence on the pitch.
QUIZ: These players have played for both Leeds United and Huddersfield Town – True or false?
In what was starting to become a regular occurrence at Leeds United, Milanic was sacked after just 32 days in charge with Redfearn once again taking charge, this time on a one-year contract which would prove to be the making of Mowatt during that campaign. One of his most notable performances in a Leeds United came just a few days following Redfearn’s appointment as he would score a brace in the 2-2 draw with Charlton. His first came from a typical Mowatt run where he held back on the edge of the box and waited for the ball to fall to him before lashing home before his second goal coming from outside the box as he curled an effort into the net. This was just the beginning for Mowatt as he would grow into a crucial member of the Leeds squad under Redfearn.
Other key moments for Mowatt that spring to mind was his winner against Wigan at the DW Stadium, a superb effort during the 4-3 defeat to Wolves and another set piece goal against Millwall, which would clinch Leeds United three points. He was forming a reputation for himself as a player who was dynamic in the midfield, someone who could pick the ball up from deep and unleash venomous strikes into the back of the net; no matter how far out he was.
He was certainly one of the highlights in Leeds United’s season as he picked up both the ‘Player of the Year’ and the ‘Players’ Player of the Year’ awards. He had shown a lot of promise during his time at Elland Road, but he was eventually sold to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley in 2017, where he remains to this day as he captains the side in their fight against relegation.
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