npower Championship – Preston North End
npower League One – Brighton & Hove Albion
Blue Square Bet Premier – Bath City
You’ll notice straight away that I don’t support a League Two side, and all I can say is that I’m still searching! As for my other teams, it’s been a mixed season so far. Preston North End are rock bottom of the Championship with just 5 wins in 30 matches and are almost destined for relegation.
Brighton & Hove Albion, by contrast, are just one place behind North End in the Football League standings, sitting prettily in pole position in League One when mid-table obscurity was predicted at the beginning of the season.
Bath City are enjoying a fantastic term, happily lost in the mid-table places, well clear of the relegation zone and dreaming of play-off hope. Adie Britton has done a fantastic job with a bunch of part-time footballers!
It is Brighton though that I would like to draw closer attention to. The last time they were promoted to the Championship, they had Bobby Zamora scoring goals for fun at the Withdean Stadium. This time, it’s more of a combined effort in the goalscoring department. Kazenga Lua Lua (on loan from Newcastle) netted 4 times early on before an injury prevented him staying on the south coast. Striker Glen Murray has 14 goals to his name, Ashley Barnes has 10, and the midfielders have each contributed with three or four each.
The Seagulls have got a good all round team now with Kasper Ankergren in goal and defenders Gordon Greer and Inigo Calderon particularly impressive this season. I think they have a team that could compete in the second tier of the Football League, and it certainly looks promising thus far for the Albion.
And with a move from the often slated Withdean Stadium (which is really an Athletics Stadium, I used to have my primary school sports day there!) to the brand new, 22,500 seater Amex Stadium, they have an arena in which they will look like they belong in the Championship or even (dare I say it) the Premier League.