Opposition Focus: Derby County
Over the course of the summer one story has gripped both the Liberty Stadium and Pride Park faithful which threatened to boil over ,the Ferrie Bodde transfer saga. Initally the Rams offered £500,000 then improved their offer to £750,000 and then a final bid worth up to £2 million, the later matching Swansea City's evaluation of the highly regarded Dutchman. After months of wrangling over the fee for the former Ado Den Hagg player , Bodde shocked everyone and signed a new long term deal with Swansea.
Derby have strengthened over the summer with the a host of new arrivals that include Kris Commons from Nottingham Forest, Martin Albrechtsen from premier league new boys West Bromwich Albion and one of the hottest properties in league two last season Liam Dickinson from Stockport County. There have been high profile departures with Welsh international Robert Earnshaw and Kenny Miller leaving for pastures new.
Derby County will be one of the first handful of clubs to take on Swansea City when Paul Jewell brings his squad to the Liberty Stadium on the 16th September.
Michael Coombs from Vital Derby County has taken some time out to give us the low-down on his hopes and thoughts about next season including his take on Boddegate.
2) How Long have you been supporting your club?
22 years man and boy! (1959!)
3) How Do you rate your chances this season?
We should be top half, we've got a better squad than our last promotion season but with all the new players the start is vital, a good start and who knows... Having said that more than one win by Christmas would be nice!
4) What do you think of Swansea City can they cause an upset?
Always tricky for a newly promoted club but Swansea looked impressive winning League One last season and have an up and coming manager in Roberto Martinez who I rate highly. On the playing side Swansea maybe lack the experience at this level but have some decent talent if the Ferrie Bodde saga is anything to go by. I'd say mid-table but if you get a good run of results early then maybe higher, look at Bristol City last season with a largely unknown team but decent manager.
5) Who do you think is your clubs and Swansea's biggest threat?
I think Birmingham will be up there from the start, they've made some good signings and I think Lee Carsley and Kevin Phillips on frees may be the shrewdest deals of the summer. Everyone seems to rate QPR as a dark horse and they certainly have the money behind them to buy their way out of the league. .
6) What places can you recommend visiting fans go to i.e pubs , hotels and places to visit?
Away fans usually get channelled to one pub, The Crown and Cushion, by the train station. Other than that the new Westfield shopping centre is pretty impressive if you like that kind of thing and has plenty of food outlets for a pre-match meal. There are burger vans on the way to the stadium when walking across Pride Park, which aren't bad, but you take your chances!
7) Any other thoughts.
Anyone else get bored of the whole Ferrie Bodde transfer saga? Thankfully we had other targets lined up after he decided to stay with Swansea and we both seem to have profited from the deal, we signed Przemyslaw Kazmierczak, a Polish international with Champions League experience, and Swansea kept their best player. It'd be interesting how much of what went on or was reportedly said was true as we seemed to get to a he said, she said standoff which didn't necessarily put either club in a good light although Huw Jenkins comparing the saga to the Cristiano Ronaldo nonsense brought a smile to my lips. If Bodde is half as good as the comments seem to suggest he should be pretty useful and I'll be keeping an eye on him this season to see if he lives up to the hype.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will bring you more insights into our new opposition,tomorrow we will focus on Southampton.