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Players to watch. Aaron Wilbraham, age 21, Striker Came through the youth ranks making his debut in the 1997/8 season. Good movement and slick finishing last season attracted the interest of Bradford City. Lots of potential but has had a quite start to the season, when his form picks up expect the big clubs to be watching. Shefki Kuqi, Striker Finnish International signed from FC Jokerit towards the end of last season. Former Finnish player of the year is very good in the air and never gives up. Scored against Albania on Saturday. Robert Clare, aged 17, Defender Made his debut last season and has already attracted the interest of Everton. Already very assured at the back, experience and confidence will help him develop into a class player. Mike Flynn, age 32, defender Signed from Preston in the 1992/93 season. Captain Flynn has also played for Oldham and has over 500 first team appearances under his belt. Vastly experienced defender who never gives up and is a very good tackler. Almost signed for Tottenham in 1998 and Birmingham in 1999.
After being sixth in the table in January, County suffered a record-breaking run of 19 league games without a win to find themselves in trouble. Wins over Swindon and Huddersfield restored the natural order and Edgeley Park will host First Division for a fourth season, which is a fine feat. County have some very good players that lost confidence last season. Tony Dinning became one of the best goalscoring midfielders in the Nationwide League, and Kevin Cooper is an underrated midfielder. Are better than some pundits would suggest, and have several players that can upset the 'bigger' names in the division, such as Ian Moore, who ended last season amongst the goals. Jarkko Wiss was signed from Norwegian football and the Finnish international brings real hope to the club. His signing is considered a coup.
stockport County are an odd side - they got off to a flying start last season only to suffer diabolical form in the 2nd half of the season. I think that they have a great keeper - It is Carlo Nash - right? I think so. But can stockport make the playoffs - this is a place many sides are aiming for - and I think stockport county may actually make it. They've gotten off to an OK start - 1 win, 3 draws, and 2 losses isn't TOO bad. But they've only averaged 1 goal per game which COULD mean they need a new hitman. Any chance of selling anyone?
Living in the shadow of their more glamourous near neighbours, Manchester City and Manchseter United, Stockport County have never really been able to compete on a level footing. Following defeat at Wembley in the play-off final in the 1993/4 season, County finally recovered three seasons later and gained promotion to Division 1 after finishing runners up in Division 2 to local rivals Bury. Since then they have been unable to mount a serious challenge to the upper echelons of the division, although they did manage to finish in a respectable 8th position in their first season back in Division 1. Hopes for the forthcoming season, however, are somewhat more realistic, with survival, like many other teams, being the key concern. This will be of particular relevance with the knowledge of the method of distribution of the money from TV rights from the 2001/2 season onwards. The Cheshire side, despite their meagre ground at Edgeley Park, are still capable of upsetting stronger teams from the divsion, but across an entire season will struggle again to mount any serious challenge. One To Watch: Tony Dinning Predicted Position in Division 1 next season: 20th