Football Sport

CAN ISLE OF WIGHT FOOTBALLER DAN BUTLER HELP PETERBOROUGH’S PROMOTION PUSH?


Dan Butler was voted Newport County’s best player for two consecutive seasons in 2017 and 2018, and the left-back was a key component of the League Two side for three terms after joining in 2016.

As tends to be the case with high performers in the lower echelons of the English game, Butler was snatched up this summer by League One side Peterborough United. The Posh have been dwelling in the third tier of the Football League since they were relegated from the Championship at the end of the 2013-14 campaign. But with the addition of the glory-hungry Butler, Danny Ferguson’s side look well-placed to push for promotion in the 2019-20 season.

Butler Key Part of Newport’s Success

Butler made 129 league appearances for The Exiles, and during his time at Rodney Parade emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in the division. In the 2018-19 campaign, Butler helped Mike Flynn’s side reach the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1949. This amazing progression with wins over Premier League and Championship opposition Leicester City and Middlesbrough set up a tantalising tie against Manchester City at home.

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Despite losing the game 4-1, this gave Butler and the other players some much-needed experience against a few of the best footballers in the business. The cup run also helped the Cowes-born player gain the attention of clubs in the leagues above Newport. In addition to reaching the latter stages of the oldest national football competition in the world which began in 1871, Newport also had a strong league campaign. The Welsh outfit made it to the playoff final, only to lose 1-0 in the 119th minute to Tranmere Rovers.

Will Butler’s Addition Boost Peterborough?

Peterborough finished seventh in League One in the 2018-19 campaign, and ended the season just one point behind Doncaster Rovers with a total of 72 points. Now Ferguson’s side are about to enter the new season as one of the favourites for automatic promotion. Sunderland are leading the race at around 6/4, but Betway has Peterborough close behind at 7/2 as of June 24th. The Posh could be buoyed after coming so close last time out, and will be hungry to go one better in the season ahead.

One of the reasons that Ferguson’s side are favoured to go on a promotion push is down to the success of 2018 addition Ivan Toney. The 23-year-old Northampton-born striker notched 16 goals in 44 appearances in an impressive debut campaign at London Road Stadium. Now settled, there is every chance that the goal-hungry attacker could push for even more goals in the campaign ahead.

Butler will be a key addition down the flanks, as the pacey left-back has shown that he can start attacks with his tricky wing play and his ability to float in a decent cross. The Isle of Wight-born player is unlikely to add many goals, but has shown in the past that he has the ability to pull a wonder strike out of the bag in times of need. He can also track back and back up the defence.

Ferguson has brought in another player to help shore up a defence that shipped a whopping 62 goals last season. This was a key area that needed addressing, as it was perhaps the defence that cost Peterborough promotion. 23-year-old Frankie Kent will come in at centre back and look to form a partnership with the other new addition at the back, Mark Beevers. Ferguson was right to go for a complete overhaul of his back line, and if the players can form a strong partnership early on it could turn the Posh into a formidable unit.

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Butler is set to continue his rise up the tiers of the English game, and if he can help Peterborough to promotion in the 2019-20 campaign it will do wonders for his career as he looks to emulate fellow Islander Simon Moore in rising through the divisions. As it stands, Ferguson’s charges are looking well-placed to battle for automatic promotion in the campaign ahead.

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