THE LIST: Sportmail's top 50 players in the Football League, Nos 50-41
03 August 2009 03:32
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The quest for the Premier League promised land begins on Friday in the ultra-competitive Championship.
With north-east giants Newcastle United and Middlesbrough hoping for an instant top-flight return and West Brom buoyed by the managerial appointment of ex-Chelsea favourite Roberto Di Matteo; the Championship looks set for another season of twists and turns.
Simon Grayson is desperate to end Leeds United's spell in the third tier of English football while Burton Albion are looking forward to their first ever campaign in the Football League.
And of course there's Sven-Goran Eriksson at Notts County.
So, to celebrate the start of the Football League campaign, Sportsmail have compiled a list of the top 50 players outside the Premier League.
Oh, and by the way, all information is correct as of Sunday, August 2.
Nos 50-4150. Jeremie Aliadiere (Middlesbrough) Promised so much under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal - but never really delivered. The Frenchman has also struggled at the Riverside, though a drop in division could bring the best out in the forward.
49. Shane Long (Reading)One of a number of Irishmen who have under former Royals boss Steve Coppell at the Madjeski Stadium. Long looks destined for bigger and better things - could this be the year the forward proves it?
48. Stephen Hunt (Reading)The Republic of Ireland international has long been linked with moves to the Premier League. Everton, Aston Villa and more recently Portsmouth have been linked with the 28-year-old. A good start to the season is likely to result in a move to the top-flight.
47. Reuben Reid (West Brom)Eighteen goals in 38 League Two starts for Rotherham prompted West Brom boss Di Matteo to fork out £300,000 on Reid. The centre-forward will be relishing his crack at the Championship - but can he make the step up?
46. Liam Rosenior (Reading)The former England Under 21 international was highly-rated at Fulham before his switch to the Royals in 2007. Rosneior's versatility could be key for Brendan Rodgers' men this season.
45. Paul Green (Derby County)After making close to 300 appearances for boyhood club Doncaster Rovers, Green left Yorkshire for Derby on free transfer at the start of last season. And the midfielder has become a key part of the Rams' plans.
44. Jon Walters (Ipswich)Walters has been capped at B level for the Republic of Ireland and the appointment of Roy Keane at Portman Road could bring out the best in the versatile forward. Could be a make or break season for Walters.
43. Tommy Smith (Watford)The attacking midfielder looks likely to start the season at Vicarage Road. But whether he will finish the season there is another matter. Reading and Sheffield United are both keen on the influential Hornet - and after a string of impressive displays for struggling Watford last season it's not difficult to see why.
42. Tommy Rowe (Peterborough)Thirteen goals from 72 appearances for Stockport persuaded Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson to take a punt on the former Manchester United youngster. The winger faces a big season in the Championship - but can he deliver?
41. Paul Benson (Dagenham & Redbridge)Shrewsbury have been chasing the former Southend United striker after the departure of Grant Holt to Norwich. But as it stands, Benson remains a Daggers player and the east Londoners will hope they can keep hold of the front man who score 21 goals last season.