Burton Albion has a host of players that can score goals with a total of nine different players seeing their name on the score sheet this season, seven of those nine players have scored two or more goals.
Daniel Jebbison and Thomas O’Connor lead the team with four goals scored this season, followed closely by Lucas Akins and Jonny Smith with three goals each. The defence is sparked by Tom Hamer (31 interceptions) and Conor Shaughnessy (22 interceptions, seven tackles won), while Smith anchors the midfield alongside teammate Joe Powell. Three players supply the deliveries into the box for the Brewers with Powell (64), Smith (58) and O’Connor (51) leading the way in that department. Red cards have disrupted Hasselbaink’s line-up decisions over the course of the last handful of games, but forward Deji Oshilaja is back from suspension heading into the weekend’s match against Rovers, allowing Hasselbaink to change things up.
Huddersfield-born Lucas Akins is the veteran of the Burton Albion squad, now in his eighth season with the Brewers. In both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, respectfully, he won the club’s Supporters’ Player and Players’ Player of the Year award. He has been a member of the club through their time in Sky Bet League Two, Sky Bet League One and the Championship. Participating with his hometown club Huddersfield in their youth system to begin his career, Akins signed his first professional contract with the club in 2007, making five appearances.
He later served a loan spell with Northwich Victoria during the 2007/08 campaign. In 2008, Akins went north of the border to Scotland, playing two seasons with Hamilton Academical, where he featured 11 times for the club, and played on loan with Partick Thistle. In 2010, he secured a permanent move to Tranmere Rovers, playing two seasons (2010-12) with the club, scoring seven times in 77 appearances.
He moved to Stevenage at the end of the 2011/12 campaign, playing from 2012 through 2014 and scoring 13 goals in 77 appearances. In March 2020, Akins was called up to represent the Grenada National Team, before the matches were ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season with, Akins has scored three goals and leads the Brewers with three assists. He also converted the team’s only penalty. He is the most-fouled player in the squad with 23 fouls drawn. Defensively, he’s added a team third-best 21 interceptions with 14 tackles won.
One of a growing number of youngsters playing European football from Canada, Daniel Jebbison joined Burton Albion in August 2021. The crafty forward from Ontario made history during the 2020/21 season, becoming the youngest player to score on his Premier League start, when he bagged a goal for Sheffield United against Everton at the age of 17.
He finished the campaign with four (4) first team appearances for the Blades, before eventually signing his loan deal to join the Brewers at Pirelli Stadium over the summer. Last season, he played two games while on loan with Chorley in the National League North.
This season with the Brewers, Jebbison scored his first goal for Burton Albion in a 2-1 win at home against Portsmouth, while going on to bag a brace in his last contest – a 4-0 win over Accrington Stanley. With Jebbison born less than an hour’s drive from Toronto, he was eligible to represent both Canada and England on the international level.
He represented the Three Lions with the U18 team in March 2021, later making his debut for the England U19 team in a 2-0 win over Italy in September. With the Brewers, Jebbison is third in the squad with 36.4% shots on target, averaging at least one shot on target per game. He has a 0.50 goals per shots on target mark to go along with his 2.79 shots per game average. He also has five interceptions and four tackles won in defence.
Republic of Ireland international Thomas O’Connor signed a two-year deal to join Burton Albion in the summer of 2021, following his release from Southampton.
Playing as a left-sided or central defender/midfielder in his youth career with Southampton, O’Connor is said to be a versatile left-footed player. In August 2019, O’Connor signed on loan with Gillingham, scoring his first professional goal for the club with an 83rd-minute equaliser against Bristol Rovers in September. With his initial loan deal being for five months, he later extended his contract with Gillingham through to the end of the 2020/21 campaign. Since joining the Brewers, O’Connor has scored four goals including a brace against Morecambe – one goal five minutes into the game, and another just four minutes after half-time. In all, O’Connor registers 33.3% shots on target, averaging one every other game.
Internationally, O’Connor played with the Republic of Ireland U19 team from 2017 to 2018, and has been participating for the U21 team since 2019. He made his U21 Republic of Ireland debut in November 2019 in the team’s 1-0 win over Armenia as part of the 2021 UEFA European U-21 Championship qualifier.
Deji Oshilaja was born in Bermondsey but began his career withCardiff City. The young defender signed his professional contract with at the Welsh club in 2012 and was then loaned first to Newport County and then to Sheffield Wednesday for the 2013/14 season. In January 2015, Oshilaja served a loan spell with AFC Wimbledon where he scored his first professional goal with 23 appearances for the club.
He played two seasons on loan with Gillingham, before completing a permanent move to AFC Wimbledon in June 2017. He was club captain for the 2018/29 campaign.
Upon being released by AFC Wimbledon, Oshilaja inked a deal with Charlton Athletic in July 2019. He spent two years in London before joining Burton in the summer.
This season, Oshilaja has contributed with 14 interceptions, five tackles won and four crosses. He is eligible to return to the Brewers line-up this weekend following a three-game suspension.