Burton Albion are another recent addition to the Football League, but they haven’t exactly looked out of place. Led by Canadian and ex-Derby County striker Paul Peschisolido the club has performed well, and dodged relegation since arriving in the Football League 2 seasons ago. The finished 13th in their first season, notching their first win in the Football League in emphatic style, smashing Morecambe 5-2 at their home ground, the Pirelli Stadium.
Last season the Brewers finished up in 19th, narrowly avoiding slipping through the trap door of the Football League and send them tumbling back into non-league.
We spoke to Burton Albion fan Dominik Paczko (@dompaczko) to catch a glimpse of the Brewers through the eye of one of the fans themselves.
What would be a dream season for you?
Well a dream season would be promotion to League 1, and to be honest it is a possibility although perhaps through the play off’s as opposed to as Champions. We were looking likely candidate in the first half of last season but due to severe weather, a 4th round FA Cup Run and various other factors, Burton barely played a league match between December and February. The fixture backlog meant we played nearly half the season between the months of March to May. We were like the walking wounded as the games mounted up and consequently what could have been a push for promotion turned into a battle against relegation.
What would be your worst nightmare?
Like most clubs in League Two it would be relegation back to the Conference. It took us 6 years to get promoted to League 2 and not many teams bounce straight back up. I actually think the Conference is a tougher league than League Two to be honest.
What do you think of your club’s summer transfer activity?
It’s been pretty good. Cleveland Taylor has been brought in on the right wing. He has been at Burton before on loan but chose to take the opportunity to play in the SLP for St Johnstone as opposed to signing for us, but he is back now and made the right noises about the club ’feeling like home’. We have signed three much needed strikers. Calvin Zola’s loan from Crewe has been made a permanent deal, 19 year old Adi Yussef has been with us on trial after spending time at Leciester City’s youth set up and has been given a deal. We also signed Justin Richards from Port Vale. As far as I am aware pretty much all of these were on frees so if they can bang in the goals then it is an excellent bit of business.
Who will be your most important player/s this season?
There are two in my eyes. First off Aaron Webster. He is Mr Burton Albion having been with the club since 1998. He has made over 400 appearences for the Brewers and more importantly than that, he scored 11 goals league goals for us last season despite playing most of the season at left back. He can also play a mean through ball and can often find that defence splitting pass.
Next up is Jacques Maghoma, an ex Tottenham trainee who can really boss a midfield. He is brilliant at picking a ball up from deep and powering it through towards their goal. He has masses of energy and can run all day. Strong, powerful and skillful.
Any players you would happily see the back of?
Not really. We have a pretty good squad and they are a good bunch. I suppose some people will feel that Jimmy Phillips has a bit to prove this season. He has bags of potential, is very quick and possesses a good touch but does sometimes struggle to make an impact on a game.
Do you have the best manager for the job?
As with any club I am sure there are doubters of Peschisolido’s reign - he had some pretty big boots to fill after Nigel Clough left. Personally for me I like him, the team plays really fluid, passing football, he comes across very likeable in interviews and players seem to want to play for him.
It is a big season for him after the near relegation last year and I guess the worry is that if there is a run of bad results then fans will really get on his back.
The good thing is our Chairman Ben Robinson is perhaps one of the best Chairman’s you can get, he has a lot of patience and really likes to give managers time to do their thing. There is currently a campaign for him to become a Olympic Torch carrier when it comes through Staffordshire.
Opposition players that you respect?
There is no one out and out that I can think of. As is common in most League Two grounds, opposition players get a lot of stick, especially in the North Stand which is very close to the pitch. Some players actually acknowledge that and play up to it a bit (in a good way) – so I actually have respect for those players.
Opposition players that you despise?
Again, not one especially – maybe I am too nice. It will be interesting to see what Shaun Harrads reception will be when he plays for Northampton. My personal feeling is that he left us in a whole heap of trouble last season by jumping ship when we really needed him.
Best away fans/ground in your league?
I have a huge soft spot for Morecambe fans. They were our first home game in League Two and when the teams came out they rolled out a banner saying ‘Burton Albion – Welcome To League 2′ which I thought was such a great gesture. We acknowledged that by thumping them 5-2.
Oxford and Northampton always bring huge support and it is a great atmosphere when ever they come to visit.
Which teams do you really want to beat this season?
Torquay would be nice on the first day of the season, we rarely beat them – even going back to our days together in the Conference. Northampton, Port Vale and Shrewsbury has a little bit of a local feel about it so it is always good to band a few past them too.
Finally, where do you honestly think you will finish?
If the new forwards click, I do think we can push for a play off place. The league is so tough though – a bad run of 3 or 4 games can knock you halfway down the league, while the opposite can make you champions. I would like to think 6th or 7th.
Burton Albion fans, do you agree or disagree with Dom? You should sign up and have your say in the comments section below!!!