David Cameron Walker

Archive for the ‘Burton Albion’ Category

That craving we all have to see our team!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Currently as I’m at University in Leeds, I’ve had to move out of the Burton area which has unfortunately resulted in me not seeing the Brewers anywhere near as much as I would love to anymore. However, whenever I’m back home I always attend the matches and whenever I get any spare time on my hands I am always looking up the latest Albion news to keep in touch with exactly what’s going on at the club. My passion for The Albion started when I was about eight years old when the club were in the Dr Martens division, which saw a very good Burton side just narrowly miss out on promotion twice in two seasons – this is where my love for the club began as the following season in the Northern Premier League – also known as the Unibond League – they stormed it, helping me realise as a youngster that you didn’t have to support Manchester United to see successful and enjoyable football.

Anyway, my craving to see Burton wasn’t just down to the football, but it was the whole experience of going down to the old Eton Park on a Saturday afternoon for the sense of enjoyment that really used to give me that urge to be there week in week out. I still even get that same feeling now and wish I could be there every week, although whereas when was younger I used to enjoy waiting around the ground and getting the autographs of visiting ex-league players beforehand, I now normally spend my time soaking up the atmosphere in the boozers along with many other Brewers fans who like to treat themselves to a number of those things that Burton finds itself well renowned for brewing.

Throughout my time of watching the Albion, I do believe that there have been more successful seasons compared to bad ones, especially as I’ve never had to see my team be relegated and have only witnessed one managerial change, which can’t be a bad thing as most clubs these days rarely give their managers chance to settle in before sacking them. But Burton have been fortunate and every Burton fan would agree in saying that the club has a fantastic chairman in Ben Robertson, someone who definitely has his head screwed on and has stuck with both Nigel Clough and Paul Peschisolido during difficult times, along with being very clever with his money.

Now I don’t get to see the Brewers as much as I would like to anymore, it really has hit home more this season compared to last, how much I really do miss regularly going to matches. This season’s great form also really hasn’t helped my craving as from what I have seen so far, it’s probably the best side that we have ever had.

Northern Ireland U-21 Captain Billy Kee looks a great buy after scoring his 7th goal in 7 games and experienced defender Kevin Amankwaah has also joined to help strengthen the defence, both adding quality to an already talented squad. Despite recently suffering defeats to Cheltenham at home and Gillingham away, the Brewers have picked up some great results at home to Crewe, Swindon and Bristol Rovers and also another great result away at Rotherham – but it was to get much better.

Despite losing their most recent game to Aldershot on Tuesday night, Burton travelled to Barnet on the Saturday and secured a fantastic 6-3 win, with Billy Kee scoring a top quality hat-trick along with youngsters Adi Yussuf and Jack Dyer getting their first goals for the club. Wins like this make me wish even more I could be going to the games!

Upon looking at everything from the bigger picture when you don’t always get to see every game, it does sometimes help to appreciate what your club does mean to you, in addition to how well they are doing, because sometimes no matter what some fans may say on forums and on the terraces, nobody can question how well the Brewers have started this season.

And, to be fair, despite their latest defeat at Aldershot, the wins Burton have had, especially the 6-3 success at Barnet really has given many of us fans a real sense of optimism for the rest of the season, even the play-offs don’t look too much of a long shot at all. Up the Brewers!

Written by Rob Slater, We Are Going Up’s Burton Albion blogger

Rob tweets at @rslater17

A promising start…

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

As mentioned in my last blog, there was a real sense of uncertainty as to what this season would bring for the Brewers as the 2010-11 campaign didn’t seem to fill fans with too much joy. This time around though, the Brewers’ season so far has been a really positive one and has given the fans a real sense of optimism as to what could come.

With a very bright start from our new strikers Calvin Zola and Justin Richards, Burton no longer look like a team that will be struggling to find the net this season, further being helped by the recruitment of strikers Adi Yussuf from Leicester City and Billy Kee from Torquay United. Northern Ireland under-21 captain Kee is well known throughout League Two after netting regularly for Torquay United and Accrington Stanley. He and Yussuf will add some real competition upfront which will hopefully keep the promising Zola and Richards on their toes. Theirs is a partnership which has been fruitful as they’ve found the net 12 times between them already this season.

Despite that decent start which has propelled the side into 7th place in the table, there has been some bad news as the club lost both influential defender Nathan Stanton to a knee injury and young loan defender Tom Parker to an ankle injury. Both injuries, especially the loss of Stanton, had an effect as the Brewers struggled in their early games to hold onto a number of leads and developed a bad habit of conceding late goals.

Stanton may be back in around six weeks time which is welcoming news to the ears of all Brewers fans. Arguably the best Albion backline consists of Stanton, Tony James, Ryan Austin and Aaron Webster and if these four had been able to play together, the team could have potentially turned both the losses against Accrington and Sheffield United and the draws against Torquay and Shrewsbury into more positive results. However I’m not complaining too much – the defence managed to get another clean sheet as Burton defeated Crewe Alexandra and rescued a 2-2 draw at Oxford United after being two-nil down.

Young goalkeeper Ross Atkins is enjoying his football and looks like he could have a bright future in the game. While the back-line in front of him may be depleted in parts, it definitely seems strong enough at the moment. Burton look very exciting in the middle of the park with John McGrath and Adam Bolder looking as solid as ever, allowing the likes of Cleveland Taylor (when fit,) Chris Palmer, Jimmy Phillips and Jacques Maghoma the freedom to trouble opposition defenders. Meanwhile the front two of Zola and Richards look like one of the best centre-forward partnerships the club has had for a long time.

Not wishing to get too carried away as only the first month has passed but with three wins, four draws and only one defeat in the league, things do look on the up. Coupled with improving finances and good support both home and away it is a good time to be supporting the Brewers!

Written by Rob Slater, We Are Going Up’s Burton Albion Blogger

Rob tweets at @rslater17

 

Who knows what this season will bring for the Brewers?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

After last season’s disappointment, as a Brewers fan I would say that I’m pretty unsure as to how I think things will end up in the up and coming season?

After doing respectably well in our first season in the league and finishing around mid-table in 13th, our second season didn’t go quite to plan for Paul Peschisolido and the boys with us finishing lower than the previous season in 19th. I personally believe that we were unlucky last season and if it wasn’t for the long backlog of games, losing some of our key players through injuries (particularly Nathan Stanton) and for players wanting to move on to apparently better their careers (Shaun Harrad moving to Northampton who finished just a point above us for example?) then I do believe that in the second half of the season we could have pushed on towards the play-offs and could have had a successful season, however it just wasn’t to be.

Although despite all the disappointment that last season brought, there were some positive points and it didn’t all seem to be doom and gloom. Firstly, we had a great FA Cup run where we amazingly beat Middlesbrough at Home and we then give a good account of ourselves against Burnley before unfortunately getting knocked out. We managed to find ourselves a centre-half, that in my opinion is one of the best centre-half’s that I’ve seen down the Albion in my 12 years of watching them in Nathan Stanton and we also did manage to finish the season brightly seeing as at one time it did look like we could get relegated.

This season however, I do believe that Burton have assembled a squad that is good enough to get into the top half of the table and could maybe even look to finish even further up the table than that, but I’m not going to get too carried away. Once that the transfers started to get rolling around the country, firstly we brought in our former loan star Cleveland Taylor! Cleveland is one of those players that every club needs as he is not only a talented winger with great delivery, but he is also a player that has managed to build a great rapport with the fans and can really get the fans going in the same way that Aaron ‘G’ Webster can. Secondly, we signed Chris Palmer who I remember watching a number of times for both Notts County and Gillingham and I believe that from what I’ve seen in the past, he will give Pesch a big selection headache as to what wingers should start after having the great news that Jacques Maghoma has signed a new two year deal when he was thought to be leaving. Also, not to forget young Jimmy Phillips who I do believe has all the ability in the world to cut it at League two level and higher, however it’s now up to Jimmy to begin pushing the first choice wingers all the way and step up to the plate when he gets his chances. Pesch has also brought in Big Calvin Zola who personally, I am still unsure about. Despite him scoring a few towards the end of last season, he never seemed to be fully fit, so before I say too much about him, I would like to see him up top with somebody of a better class than Greg Pearson, who I believe is no better than a player who should be coming on from the bench for us.

From then on though, after a steady mixture of pre-season results which included a shocking 4-0 defeat to local neighbours Tamworth, Pesch has all of a sudden landed 4 signings to calm the nerves of some Brewers fans that had started to wonder whether or not we were strong enough. Ross Atkins has come in on a season long loan from Derby to be our new first choice keeper, former loan player Tom Parkes from Leicester once again comes in on loan, former Crewe left back Danny Blanchet has arrived and last but not least we’ve signed Justin Richards from Port Vale who has been linked with the Albion a number of times as he seems to know where the net is.

As for players who have left, we’ve unfortunately lost talented goalkeeper Adam Legzdins to Cloughie down the road at Derby. In a way this move has annoyed me due to the fact that Nigel has again come back to his old club for the player of the season, when he could have got taken a gamble on the hundreds of other good up and coming goalkeepers that are around. However, Cloughie has instead decided to gamble on another player from his old club again who are trying to keep hold of their best players, just as he did when he gambled on Jake Buxton which hasn’t particularly worked out great for his un-achieving Rams side. Apart from Legzdins and the players who have been released, unfortunately Russell Penn was the only other player who has left as he has left for Cheltenham Town; however despite him being a hard working midfielder, I don’t see this as a massive loss as I have faith in Mcgrath and Bolder in the middle, as well as young Jack Dyer who I think may be one for the future.

So as for next season, providing that the strikers can produce the goals, I do believe we will get into at least the top half of the league. The Brewers do however face some stiff competition with there being some very strong sides in the league again this season. I think that the same teams may be there or there abouts again this season, although whereas Torquay and Accrington had good seasons last time around and surprised a lot of people, I think that this season they will be in the lower half of the league and will be replaced by the likes of Oxford, Crawley and hopefully the Brewers!

Written by Rob Slater, We Are Going Up’s Burton Albion Blogger

Rob tweets at @rslater17