Yesterday (Wednesday) we took a look at Shrewsbury Town, the second of four teams to be promoted to League One. Today we focus on Bury, a team who were promoted on the final day of the season with a win at relegated Tranmere Rovers. Wycombe Wanderers got the final day win they needed, away at Northampton Town, but finished a point short of Bury and then lost on penalties in the play-off final.
Relegated from League One at the climax of the 2012-13 season, it has took Bury a couple of years to bounce back but promotion didn’t come as a great shock this time around as they were tipped for promotion from the off by bookmakers around the country.
Former Preston North End midfielder Danny Mayor was key for the Shakers, as he scored 8 goals and was a vital to the successes they had last season. So much was the case, he was awarded the League Two Player of the Year award, and was also included in League Two’s PFA Team of the Year.
JD Stadium (Gigg Lane)Ground:
3Last Season:rdin League Two
Courtesy of SkyBet.com
Manager – David Flitcroft
Yet another young manager, aged just 41 he is already cutting his teeth well in the trade. Born locally in Bolton, he had a playing career which spanned 19 years and began at Preston North End in 1992. He remained at the club for just a year before a move to Chester City.
He played for City for 6 years, racking up 187 league appearances (18 goals) before signing for Rochdale in 1999. Another 6 years were spent at Rochdale, with him making 160 league appearances (4 goals). A brief stint at Macclesfield Town was followed by a move to Bury, and in his playing days for the Shakers, he made 122 league appearances (4 goals). Flitcroft has a spell in non-league with Hyde United before returning to Rochdale as assistant manager. Whilst in the role though, he played his final match as a professional and that was a Football League Trophy match against Bradford City.
of the 2013-14 season, and in his first full season guided the club to promotion.remainderIn June 2011 he followed Keith Hill to Barnsley to become the club’s assistant manager, but following Hill’s dismissal, he remained at the club and was eventually appointed as the new manager. In November 2013, he was sacked by Barnsley and shortly after, in December 2013 he was announced as the new manager of League Two side Bury. He steadied the ship for the
Key Player – Leon Clarke
Recently signed along with Tom Pope to bolster the attacking ranks, Leon joins Bury following his departure from Championship side Wolves. At Wolves is where it all began for the Birmingham born frontman back in 2003 after he’d come through the club’s youth system.
During the first four years of his career, he made 74 league appearances (13 goals) prior to a 2007 move to Sheffield Wednesday. He scored 18 goals in 83 league appearances before signing for QPR in 2010, with Neil Warnock admitting he was taking a gamble by signing him. The gamble didn’t pay off on this occasion as he failed to register a goal in 13 league appearances.
QPR were promoted in 2010-11 and thus came the termination of his contract. In August 2011 he signed for Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon Town. Following an altercation with Di Canio, Clarke was quickly offloaded and after a loan spell with Chesterfield, he signed for Charlton Athletic in January 2012 in a swap deal which included Paul Benson.
Following another unsuccessful spell at Charlton, he spent time on loan with Crawley Town, Scunthorpe United and Coventry City; though he decided to join the latter on a permanent basis in January 2013 and went on to reach the best form of his career to date. Clarke scored 23 goals in 34 league appearances for the Sky Blues, forming a real partnership with Callum Wilson, the latter of which is now with Premier League Bournemouth.
Leon returned to Wolves in January 2014 for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around £750,000. He made his second debut for the club in a 2-0 win against Bradford City in February 2014. Scoring only 3 times in 29 league matches for the Championship side, following a loan spell at Wigan Athletic, he was released by his parent club, and was then subsequently snapped up by Bury.
Head to Head
Bradford wins: 25
Bury wins: 22
Bradford City 1-0 Bury
Coral Windows Stadium Venue:
Football League TwoCompetition:
Tomorrow we wrap up the feature, by looking at the final one of four teams promoted from League Two, and that team is Southend United who went up in dramatic fashion in the Play-Off final at Wembley Stadium.