One To Watch – Matt Tubbs

Easily the stand out player in the Blue Square Premier last season, Matt Tubbs looks well set for a more successful crack at League football in 2011/12.

Unsuccessful at Bolton and Bournemouth as a youngster, Tubbs found prominence at lowly Salisbury City and helped guide them up to the top-tier of non-league football. Wedged in between his career at City, Tubbs was lent out to the Cherries to help balance costs at his debt stricken club.

One goal in eight games meant that Tubbs returned to Salisbury with shattered confidence having not succeeded at a higher level.

That should all change this season however as Tubbs fired his new team, Crawley Town, into the Football League in astonishing fashion. 40 goals in 44 games is comparable to Messi or Ronaldo’s strike rates as he simply obliterated part-time defences last season.

Pointing in his and Crawley Town's direction

The 26-year-old is already being touted as a potential top scorer in League 2 this coming season!

And why not? The gap between the league and non-league has decreased greatly over the last few seasons; the 4 teams who contested the play-offs last season were all promoted from the BSP a matter of years ago.

Crawley have the finances available to not only succeed but push on for promotion. Nicknamed the ‘lower league Man City’, they spent and reaped the rewards. And Tubbs, the club’s record signing, is the catalyst behind the changing fortunes at the Broadfield Stadium.

The club have greater ambitions; they have already purchased Wesley Thomas from Cheltenham who could form a dynamic partnership with Tubbs.

As proved in their FA Cup heroics last season, Crawley have the potential to match many teams at this level. Manchester United were held at Old Trafford for long spells and Torquay, Swindon and Derby County were all knocked out of the competition by the minnows. And this season, for two of those teams at least, Crawley Town will be playing them as equals.

Should Crawley be pushing for promotion come May, you can guarantee that hot-shot Tubbs will have a fair few strikes to his name. While he won’t match his feats of last season, even if he manages half of his previous haul he will be doing very well indeed.


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