The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By An­drew Law­ton

THE eyes of the foot­balling world were on Le­ices­ter City last sea­son, but just 30 miles away Bur­ton Al­bion were writ­ing their own bit of his­tory.

Striker Stu­art Beavon ad­mits the Brew­ers, un­der the stew­ard­ship of Nigel Clough, slipped un­der the radar last year as they were pro­moted to the sec­ond tier for the first time in their his­tory.

As re­cently as 2007-08, the Foxes were rel­e­gated to League One and Non­League Al­bion lost a play-off semi-fi­nal in the Con­fer­ence.

But what a dif­fer­ence eight years make, with Le­ices­ter the reign­ing cham­pi­ons of Eng­land and their near-neigh­bours hold­ing their own in the Cham­pi­onship.

They were just three points away from the top half be­fore the week­end.

“I don’t think there’s any other club you could com­pare to Bur­ton Al­bion, be­ing in Non­League just seven years ago,” said Beavon, who signed for the club in 2014 af­ter a suc­cess­ful loan spell.

“It was one of the rea­sons I joined. I knew some of the lads there, and com­ing on loan gave me time to look at it.

“You could see the team was very good.

“Be­cause of how well Le­ices­ter City did, we were un­der the radar all last sea­son.

“No­body was tak­ing much no­tice, which may have helped.

“When we got to­wards the end of the sea­son, we sud­denly had to pinch our­selves be­cause we were one game away from the Cham­pi­onship.”

Af­ter such a dra­matic rise up the Foot­ball League, some may have feared for Bur­ton’s chances in the Cham­pi­onship – where many clubs with a sto­ried Premier League his­tory have strug­gled.

In­stead, the Brew­ers have looked com­fort­able and Beavon be­lieves they have been un­lucky not to se­cure even more points.


“Ob­vi­ously we knew it was go­ing to be tough,” added the 32-year-old.

“We started off OK – I think we de­serve more points than we have.

“To beat Sh­effield Wed­nes­day and then Derby at home, we have shown we are ca­pa­ble of mix­ing it with the big boys.

“The aim has al­ways been to stay up. It would be huge and it would mean ev­ery­thing to the club.

“It’s a quicker league. You don’t get time on the ball and you have to be a lot fit­ter.

“I am en­joy­ing it. I have not played as much as I would have liked, but step­ping up a league is tough.”

In Novem­ber, Beavon played against Read­ing – the club he sup­ported as a young­ster and where his fa­ther, also called Stu­art, had played more than 400 times in the 1980s.

Stu­art Beavon Sr scored al­most 50 goals for the Roy­als and his son ad­mits to be­ing ex­cited about the con­test for months.

“It was ob­vi­ously a fix­ture I looked out for at the start of the sea­son,” said the younger Beavon, fol­low­ing Bur­ton’s 3-0 de­feat.

“It was a nice one to go and play, hav­ing grown up there.

“A lot of my friends are still sea­son ticket hold­ers.

“I used to go to watch them when I was younger but it’s the first game I have played there.

“A lot of friends and fam­ily were there as well, which was great.

“I used to watch Read­ing at Elm Park. It was com­pletely dif­fer­ent then. I’d go with my mates and sit at the back of the stand.

“When we were younger Read­ing never won any leagues but they have done very well since.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

Hud­der­s­field bagged an im­por­tant win against Bris­tol City – Page 18 IN­COM­PA­RA­BLE: Stu­art Beavon says there’s no-one to match Bur­ton in their re­cent his­tory

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