Our third preview is Burton Albion. The Brewers surpassed expectations last season; can they do the same in 2013/14 under Gary Rowett?
We continue our preview to League 2 in 2013/14 by taking a look at Burton Albion. Find out the dates we will be facing Gary Rowett’s side when the fixtures are released on the official website on 19th June.
Having been formed in 1950, Burton Albion are one of the newer clubs in League 2. Albion had spells in non-league, playing in the Dr Martens League before transferring to the Unibond Premier Division in 2001. After one season in the Unibond, the Brewers won promotion to the Conference. Under the guidance of Nigel Clough, son of former Nottingham Forest manager, Brian, Burton established themselves as a Conference outfit. In 2006, Burton were drawn against Manchester United in the FA Cup. A 0-0 scoreline at the Pirelli Stadium, which he club moved to in 2005, meant there would be a replay at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 5-0 and progressed to the fourth round of the competition. Burton won the Conference title in 2008/09, despite Clough moving on to manage Derby County in January, after over a decade at the club. After a lengthy search, Paul Peschisolido was named the new permanent manager until his sacking in 2012, when Gary Rowett took over.
Burton manager, Gary Rowett is in his first managerial job. As a player, Rowett was a defender for clubs such as Everton, Derby County, Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic. After retiring from the game, Rowett took up a media career working as a commentator for Birmingham matches and later, as a summariser for BBC Derby involving the Derby games. After taking over on a caretaker basis when Paul Peschisolido was sacked, Rowett was rewarded by being given the job on a permanent basis.
Keeping goal for Burton will be 28 year-old Stuart Tomlinson. The ‘keeper has League 2 experience having played on a consistent basis for Port Vale for two years prior to joining Burton on a free transfer. Tomlinson has also had spells at Barrow and Crewe Alexandra, where he began his career. At the back for Rowett’s men will be former Scotland under-21 player Zander Diamond and ex-Dagenham and Redbridge man Damien McCrory. In midfield, the options are former Crewe schemer, Lee Bell, 24 year-old Robbie Weir, who has formerly played for Tranmere Rovers, and ex-Stoke City youth graduate Jimmy Phillips. Up front, Rowett will be hoping Calvin Zola and former Blues man Matt Paterson score the goals to replicate the club’s good 2012/13.
The Brewers will be looking to Billy Kee to find the back of the net on a regular basis. The 22 year-old, who played for Torquay United before joining Burton, scored 14 goals in all competitions last season, and Gary Rowett will hope that the Northern Ireland under-21 striker can hit 20 this time around. Beginning his career at Leicester City, Kee had a spell on loan at Accrington Stanley prior to joining Torquay.
After a defeat on the opening day of the season to Rotherham United, Burton bounced back by thrashing AFC Wimbledon 6-2 at the Pirelli Stadium. Always scoring, particularly at home where they finished second highest scorers throughout the league with 49 goals scored at the Pirelli, this culminated in a impressive surge up the table. Albion eventually finished in fourth place, two points off the final automatic place, which was taken by Port Vale. The Brewers took on Bradford City in the play-offs, winning 3-2 in the first leg at Valley Parade. However, the return didn’t go to plan with Bradford coming out victorious 3-1 and with it, an aggregate win 5-4.
It’s highly likely that Burton will begin the 2013/14 season without their top scorer from the last campaign. Jacques Maghoma found the net 18 times last season, including the winning goal for his side against Blues at Roots Hall, but is out of contract in July. Gary Rowett has already made changes to his squad by releasing long serving trio Aaron Webster, Andy Corbett and John McGrath. Defender, Nathan Stanton and young striker Adi Yussuf have also been let go as Rowett looks to reshape his team.
BLUES vs. BURTON ALBION 2012/13:
Home: Blues 0-1 Burton Albion
Blues were down to ten men for more than 80 minutes when John Spicer was sent off for a foul on Matt Paterson. Although it looked as if the hosts may earn a point, Jacques Maghoma stepped up and scored a long-range free kick in the 90th minute.
Blues: Bentley, Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Barker, Timlin, Martin, Hurst, Spicer, Eastwood, Assombalonga
Unused: Smith, Straker, Coughlan, Leonard, Woodyard, Benyon, Njie
Away: Burton Albion 2-0 Blues
Blues’ 14-match unbeaten run came to an end at the Pirelli Stadium in late December. Calvin Zola notched his 11th of the season after 16 minutes before Lee Bell added a second for his side nine minutes before the interval. The Brewers had Nathan Stanton sent off for a second bookable offence but Blues couldn’t find a way back into the game.
Blues: Smith, Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Barker, Mkandawire (Martin, 68), Timlin, Hurst, Laird (Eastwood, 76), Corr (Phillips, 69), Tomlin
Unused: Bentley, Straker, Donnelly
Burton Albion are 5/1 to win promotion this coming season.