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Oct 25, 2009

SPL Clydesdale Bank Team of the Week

GOALKEEPER
GRAHAM STACK (Hibs): Both he and his Rangers counterpart, Allan McGregor, were excellent during the sides' 1-1 draw at Ibrox in a contest which could have finished with a barrel-load of goals. Stack executed a string of fine saves and none was more important than the double stop early in the second half as Rangers tried to turn the screw.

DEFENDER
ANDREAS HINKEL (Celtic): His team have continued to leak unnecessary goals throughout their SPL campaign, but the German player has been as solid as some of his colleagues have been fragile. Better still, Hinkel has the ability to create goals and his efforts were pivotal to Shaun Maloney breaking the deadlock against Hamilton.

DEFENDER
MARK FOTHERINGHAM (Dundee United): Craig Levein's side was seriously hampered by illness and injury, but managed to orchestrate an excellent away victory at Pittodrie. Energetic and industrious, Fotheringham was central to his team's endeavours and his tireless work prevented Aberdeen from getting back into the match.

DEFENDER
GARRY HAY (Kilmarnock): The hosts at Rugby Park had to deal with the potent menace of St Johnstone's strike force and treacherous weather conditions, but prevailed on both fronts with Hay continuing to impress throughout Kilmarnock's 2-1 success. His colleague, Frazer Wright, was another to shine, until his injury-time own goal.

MIDFIELDER
SCOTT ARFIELD (Falkirk): The youngster and his club have both endured a troubled start to their season, but Arfield's display was one of the few positive aspects of Falkirk's dreary 0-0 draw against Hearts at Tynecastle. He has both vision and technical ability and ran the show, generating openings which should have yielded greater reward.

MIDFIELDER
ANTHONY STOKES (Hibs): The Irishman has been revitalised since joining John Hughes at Easter Road and his superb goal allowed Hibs a share of the spoils at Ibrox. Stokes has a maverick streak, as his manager later testified, but he also has virtuosity, while the manner in which he unlocked the Rangers defence was exemplary.

MIDFIELDER
MORGARO GOMIS (Dundee United): This fellow has become a cult figure at Tannadice and it was easy to understand why, on the evidence of his compelling performance during their 2-0 win against Aberdeen. Buzzing with industry and purpose, Gomis also added the second goal which killed off the hosts' prospects.

MIDFIELDER
ANDY DORMAN (St Mirren): One of the outstanding players involved in an exhilarating 3-3 draw with Motherwell, Dorman exhibited sublime opportunism in seizing a goal from 18 yards out and was generally a thorn in his opponents' flesh, whilst creating plenty of momentum for Gus MacPherson's personnel.

STRIKER
KRIS BOYD (Rangers): The only way he can respond to his critics is by continuing to score goals and, despite myriad problems at Ibrox, Boyd added another to his collection in the 1-1 draw with Hibs. He subsequently came close to finding the net again and linked well with Nacho Novo. Another yellow card for diving was the only blot on his copybook, but Walter Smith must surely go with him in the Champions League.

STRIKER
KEVIN KYLE (Kilmarnock): He might not be the silkiest performer in the SPL, but the Scotland player's direct approach usually reaps dividends in inhospitable conditions and Kyle transcended the weather to grab a brace of goals in his club's 2-1 success over St Johnstone. It wasn't pretty, but it was another three points for Jim Jefferies' men.

STRIKER
SCOTT McDONALD (Celtic): The Australian-born striker has faced criticism for his alleged lack of fitness, but he scored the goal which steered them back to the summit of the SPL and, together with Shaun Maloney, worked hard against a spirited Hamilton collective at New Douglas Park. He and Boyd are similarly reviled by rival fans, but the bottom line is that if they don't find the net, their clubs invariably struggle.

BAD WEEK
MICHAEL STEWART (Hearts): For some reason, the player has fallen foul of his own supporters and was substituted to a chorus of abuse from the Tynecastle faithful, during his side's tedious draw with Falkirk. Stewart might not be hitting the heights at the moment, but he certainly wasn't the worst player on show in this contest.

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