TODAY'S non-league poll puts the spotlight on another pivotal position in any winning team - the heart of the defence.

We're celebrating the talent of our semi-pro stars and this time we're focusing on those who provide the defensive steel in their respective sides.

We asked for your nominations in all positions, including manager, and started our series of polls on Thursday.

Now it's time to plump for your top centre-back and this time the shortlist of five features two players from one club - Maldon and Tiptree.

Jammers pair Jack Cawley and Billy Roast will be going head to head along with Braintree Town loanee Rob Atkinson, Brightlingsea Regent skipper Matt Cripps and Little Oakley stalwart Lewis Wood.

Our all-star line-up is based on performances last season and, given the success of their team, it's no surprise to see Maldon feature.

Both Cawley and Roast were key figures as Wayne Brown's men reached the Bostik League division north play-offs - having finished third - before being pipped on penalties by neighbours Heybridge Swifts.

No-nonsense Cawley joined last summer and, given his eye-catching performances, it's perhaps no surprise to see him climb the league ladder, having just joined Conference South side Concord Rangers.

Roast's performances have already been recognised by the fact he made the league's supporters' team of the year.

Now the former Colchester United player will be looking to win our poll, too, after making a huge impression since joining from Dartford.

He became an ever-present in the side, making 36 appearances, and chipped in with a couple of goals, too.

Our next contender is Braintree's Atkinson, who, despite the Iron's relegation from the National League, became an influential member of their defensive unit after joining on loan from Fulham.

Or perhaps your vote will go to one of two well-known and respected faces on our north Essex circuit.

Former FC Clacton and Stanway Rovers man Cripps has just penned another FA contract at Brightlingsea, meaning he will spend a sixth season with the Bostik League outfit.

He led by example last season and guided Regent to their highest-ever league finish, in addition to their furthest runs in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

Wood, meanwhile, is regarded as a real clubman and ambassador at Oakley.

He rose through the club's youth system and has become a pivotal figure in the heart of their defence.

In addition to his defensive prowess, he is also a regular scorer and has managed more than a century of goals during his time with the Acorns.

To cast your vote for our top non-league centre-back, visit our website - - from 11am today.

And if you haven't had your say yet, don't forget you can still vote for our top manager, goalkeeper and full-back.

Tomorrow we'll be asking you to vote for your top midfielder and then it's the turn of the wingers and strikers, on Thursday and Friday respectively.