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In opposition: Burton Albion - ones to watch

22 April 2022

With Burton currently in the bottom half of the table, they have found goals harder to come by since Sheffield United loanee Daniel Jebbison was recalled by his parent club in January following eight goals for the Brewers in the opening months of the season.

Tom O’Connor and John Brayford have both chipped in with a handful of goals each. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side have kept four clean sheets in a row heading into Saturday’s fixture, with Tom Hamer being key to the 11 clean sheets they have kept so far this season.

John Brayford 

As a youngster, Brayford was one of the first graduates of Burton Albion’s revamped youth academy. 

He would go on to make just under 80 league appearances for the club from 2006-08, netting seven league goals in the process. After his two years with the Brewers, he would sign a contract with Crewe Alexandra, with the club suffering relegation in his first season during the 2008/09 campaign. However, Brayford was named Fans’ Player of the Season, on his way to being named captain for the following season – as he was selected League Two Team of the Season, in addition to once again claiming Fans’ Player of the Season accolades at the end of the season.

In 2010, Brayford sealed a move to Derby County, where he would go on to play more than 100 league games. He signed a four year deal with Cardiff in 2013, but two years later joined Sheffield United after impressing on loan for Nigel Clough’s side. He played a key role in the Blades’ cup runs in his time at Bramall Lane, before agreeing a deal with Burton and reuniting with Clough in 2017. He has since made more than 200 league appearances for the Brewers and is one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Tom Hamer 

An old school defender, Hamer started his career with Oldham Athletic and established himself in the EFL with more than 100 appearances for the Latics. He is equally as comfortable in defence or midfield, and his qualities earned him a move to Burton in January 2021.

It didn’t take long for the 22-year-old to make himself a regular with the Brewers in the second half of last season. He has carried that on in the current campaign, with 48 appearances to his name showing the trust in him from his manager.

He has been crucial in Burton’s 11 clean sheets this season, and also played a key role in their survival charge last season.

Joe Powell 

A product of the West Ham United Academy, Powell made two first-team appearances for the Hammers, as well as spending time on loan at Northampton Town in 2019.

Two goals in 10 appearances for the Cobblers convinced Burton Albion to take him on a permanent deal in January 2020. The move has paid off for Powell who has since become an integral part of the Burton side, as he now approaches 100 appearances in all competitions for the club.

The London-born midfielder has chipped in with four goals so far this season, as well as adding three assists to his name as Burton consolidated themselves in Sky Bet League One.

Oumar Niasse 

A Senegalese international striker, Everton paid £13.5million to take Niasse to Goodison Park from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow in 2016.

He made just eight league starts in four years at the Toffees though, and spent time out on loan Hull City and Cardiff City in a bid for regular first team football in England. He impressed at Hull with four goals in 12 starts, and then returned to Everton before a short spell at Huddersfield Town.

Burton surprised plenty of people by picking up the 32-year-old as a free agent in February, but he has quickly found his feet at the Pirelli with three goals in six league starts. 

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