Football League: Ones to watch!

Championship

Name: Will Hughes

Club: Derby County

Age: 18

England Under 21 Midfielder Will Hughes has come through the academy at Derby County in recent years. Last season he began to establish himself as a regular in the Rams side, making 35 league appearances, scoring 2 goals. His strengths are his technical ability and his passing. For his age, Hughes has a wise head on his shoulders and is an intelligent footballer who has already attracted the big clubs in English football.

Name: Dale Jennings

Club: Barnsley

Age: 20

When Dale Jennings left Tranmere for Bayern Munich in 2011, big things were expected from such a young man. He had just won the League One Apprentice of the season award after an incredible first season in professional football. After two years playing for Bayern Munich II, he has returned to England with Barnsley, where he will hope to progress his career. At 5 ft 9 he is predominantly a left winger with a lot of pace and an eye for goal.

Name: Anthony Knockaert

Club: Leicester

Age: 21

After the heartbreaking penalty miss in the playoff semi final last year, Anthony Knockaert will look to bounce back this season. The French Under 21 international attacking midfielder arrived at Leicester in the summer of 2012 and had an impressive first season for the Foxes scoring 8 goals. A good technical player, Knockaert will look to improve to help his club go one further and achieve promotion this time around.

Name: Johnny Russell

Club: Derby County

Age: 23

Forward Johnny Russell swapped Dundee United for Derby County this summer to help further his career. The former Scotland Under 21 international will hope good performances for Derby will help him break into the full senior side. The 23 year old comes with a big reputation having scored 13 times last season in the SPL. At 5 ft 10, the Dundee United trainee is a nifty character with plenty of potential to still improve. Russell has had an impressive pre season, netting 5 goals along the way.

League One

Name: Nahki Wells

Club: Bradford

Age: 23

It took Nahki Wells a few years to find his feet in football before joining Bradford City in 2011. He exploded onto the scene during Bradford’s Capital One Cup run last year scoring against Premier League Aston Villa in the semi final. This year he has the chance to prove himself in a higher division after netting 26 goals in all competitions last season. The Bermudan international still has time on his side at 23 and will hope for a big future in the game.

Name: Leigh Griffiths

Club: Wolves

Age: 22

Leigh Griffiths returns to Wolves this season after spending the last two season on loan at Hibs in Scotland,  where last season he scored 23 league goals. This impressive season was followed with a number of personal accolades for the Scotland international striker, including young player of the year and being included in the SPL team of the year. Now back in League One with Wolves, the former Livingston and Dundee man will look to continue his rich scoring form.

Name: George Long

Club: Sheff Utd

Age: 19

After being backup for a few years, young goalkeeper George Long established himself in the Sheffield United first team last season, making 38 appearances, including the playoff semi final defeat over 2 legs to Yeovil. At 19, he has already made 50 senior appearances for the Blades. Long was named in the England Under 20’s squad for the World Cup, featuring in a warm up game against Uruguay. This season he will look to continue impressing as number 1 as Sheffield United look for promotion back to the Championship.

Name: Britt Assombalonga

Club: Peterborough

Age: 20

Peterborough signed Britt Assombalonga from Watford this summer for what is believed to be a club record fee. The 20 year old has scored whether he has played in his short career, including at Southend, where he scored 15 league goals in an impressive loan spell last season. Born in Zaire, Britt can play upfront or as a winger. He is blessed with great pace and goal scoring ability, which will make him an handful at League One level. 

League Two

Name: George Francomb

Club: AFC Wimbledon

Age: 21

AFC Wimbledon raised a few eyebrows when they signed George Francomb on a free transfer following his release from Norwich City. Francomb can play in midfield or at right back and his versatility is key. The youngster impressed on loan at Wimbledon last season and has had previous loan spells at Barnet and Hibernian, as well as making senior appearances for Norwich City. He is known for his crossing ability and wide range of passing, as well as a good set piece. 

Name: Jed Wallace

Club: Portsmouth

Age: 19

A graduate of the Portsmouth academy, Jed Wallace is a central midfielder with a big future in the game. He broke into the Portsmouth first team in the second half of last season after an impressive loan spell at non league Whitehawk. He scored 6 goals in 22 appearances for the struggling club last term as they succumbed to relegation. His impressive goal tally from midfield received wide recognition in the lower leagues and in March 2013 he won his first England Under 19 cap. Wallace has been attracting interest from bigger sides so Portsmouth will be hoping to keep hold of him. 

Name: Jamie Cureton

Club: Cheltenham

Age: 37

At 37 it seems strange to mention Jamie Cureton as a player to watch for next season. However the former Norwich, Reading and QPR man has just signed for Cheltenham, his 13th different club. He last season scored 15 goals in 20 games for Exeter, proving his eye for goal still remains despite his advancing years. Cureton, who once had a spell in South Korea, is known for his poaching instincts, having scored 245 goals in his illustrious Football League career. The 5 ft 8 striker has had an impressive pre-season as he is about to begin his 20th season as a proffessional footballer.

Name: Jeff Hughes

Club: Fleetwood

Age: 28

When Northern Ireland international Jeff Hughes left Notts County last season on a free transfer, many expected him to stay at League One level, if not move to the Championship. Instead, Fleetwood Town acquired the services of the talented midfielder, who can play in the center or on the left. Hughes impressed at League One level with Bristol Rovers and then Notts County after moving to England from Ireland earlier on in his career. The 6ft midfielder Hughes will expect to have a big influence on games in League Two as Fleetwood hope to push for promotion.

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Hello there, my name is Edward Seaman. I am a 21-year-old freelance journalist with experience within the industry. I am a student at the University of Lincoln, where I am studying a three year course in Journalism. Born in Ipswich, I have lived in both Stowmarket and Diss and currently reside between Lincoln and Norwich. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and want to share them with your friends and family and on your social media sites. You can find me at: Twitter: EdwardSeaman94 Instagram: edwardseaman Google+ EdwardSeaman

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