We take a closer look at recently relegated Bury
Our first preview of the day puts the spotlight on Bury. Under Kevin Blackwell, the Shakers will be hoping for an instant return to League 1. To find out when we face the Lancastrians, visit the official site for the release of fixtures on 19th June.
Bury Football Club were formed in 1885. Bury earned themselves a couple of promotions in the early years, and in the 1900s, but Bury’s most recent success came in 2010/2011 under Alan Knill, and then Richie Barker. Knill, who was appointed the Shakers’ manager in 2008, led the charge to almost seal promotion, until he was taken to Glanford Park to become Scunthorpe United boss on the last day of March 2011. Barker took over the reigns from then after, winning six out of the final eight games, losing only once. Bury confirmed their promotion to League 1 after a late Ryan Lowe winner at Chesterfield, the eventual champions. Barker was later appointed the club’s permanent manager and spent the next season guiding Bury to a creditable 14th place finish. However, at the beginning of the 2012/13 season, Barker moved on to become the new manager of Crawley Town. Bury had Peter Shirtliff in caretaker charge until former Leeds United boss, Kevin Blackwell took over. That season went badly for the Shakers as they finished 22nd, picking up just nine wins all season.
Kevin Blackwell was appointed as Bury boss in September 2012. Blackwell represented Barnet, Notts County, Torquay United and Plymouth Argyle in a playing career that lasted over 20 years. A goalkeeper, Blackwell also made over 200 appearances for Boston United over six years from 1980. After hanging up his boots in 2000, Blackwell took on his first management role in 2004 as Leeds United boss. The 2005/06 season saw Blackwell take Leeds to the Championship play-off Final. However, a 3-0 defeat against Watford meant another season in the Championship. The beginning of the following campaign began poorly and Blackwell was relieved of his duties after eight games. He since had a year’s spell as manager at his hometown team, Luton Town and two years with Sheffield United prior to joining Bury after two years out of football.
At this moment in time, Bury only have one goalkeeper on their books in Trevor Carson. The 25 year-old began his career at Sunderland and had spells on loan at Chesterfield, Lincoln City and Brentford. He also had a couple of temporary spells at Gigg Lane before joining the Shakers on a free transfer in 2012. In front of Carson will be the likes of Phil Picken and the experienced Adam Lockwood. Former West Brom winger, David Worrall will line up on the right hand side if the much coveted midfielder does stay with Bury, and young Ulsterman, Shane Byrne will be in a central position. Tom Pratt and Craig Jones will be the men Blackwell will hope to fire them to promotion in 2013/14.
Spending the 2012/13 season on loan at Cheltenham Town, 28 year-old Shaun Harrad knows the league well and can score goals. The former Burton man found the back of the net ten times last season as Cheltenham missed out on promotion through the play-offs. Harrad played over 200 times for Burton in a six-year spell, scoring 69 goals and has also spent time at Northampton Town, Notts County and Rotherham United.
2013/14 proved to be a disastrous one for Bury as they fell through the relegation trapdoor. Their season wasn’t helped when manager, Richie Barker moved to Crawley just days before the start of the season. Bury lost a total of 23 games in League 1, and only won nine times, the joint least amount in the division. The club were suffering from financial difficulties from December 2012 until a takeover in late May 2013.
Left back, Joe Skarz, completed a permanent switch to Rotherham United after a short loan spell at the back end of 2012/13. Captain, Steven Schumacher, joined Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee last month, and Blackwell released a host of names including Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer, David Healy, ex-Hull City man, Craig Fagan and Tom Soares, who had spells at Crystal Palace and Stoke City. Soares’ brother, Louie played for Blues in 2010/11. There have been no incomings as yet, but expect lots of transfer activity at Gigg Lane as Blackwell rebuilds his side.
BLUES vs. BURY:
The two teams were in different divisions last season, however, we did meet during the 2010/11 campaign:
Home: Blues 1-1 Bury
Bilel Mohsni snatched a last gasp equaliser against the Shakers after Damien Mozika gave Alan Knill’s side a 65th minute lead.
Blues: Morris, Clohessy, Coughlan, Barker, Gilbert (Crawford, 86), Easton, Hall, Ferdinand (Sawyer, 69), Grant, Corr, Sturrock (Mohsni, 76)
Unused: Evans, Comminges, Phillips, Soares
Away: Bury 1-0 Blues
A goal just before half time sealed the points for the hosts; Joe Skarz heading past Glen Morris. Earlier in the game, Morris saved a Ryan Lowe penalty.
Blues: Morris, Clohessy, Gilbert, Coughlan (Fairhurst, 89), Barker, Simpson, Grant, Hall (Soares, 67), Timlin, Corr, Sturrock (Jarvis, 78)
Unused: Evans, Phillips, Woodyard, Crawford
Bury are 7/1 to win promotion this coming season.