The ones to watch: an all-star team for the Championship season ahead



Goalkeeper



David James (Bristol City)


Made debut for Watford 19 years ago and still going strong at 40. Returned from World Cup with England to join City after four seasons at Portsmouth.

Right-back

Tyrone Mears (Burnley)

Ever-present in Premier League last season after joining from Derby. Consistent performer who has also played for Manchester City, Preston and West Ham.

Central defence

Andy Dawson (Hull City)

Has appeared in all four divisions for Hull and played a key role in their two seasons in the Premier League. Joined from Scunthorpe seven years ago.

Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth)

Started in central midfield after arriving from Blackburn but excelled when switched into defence. Captained South Africa at the World Cup.

Left-back

Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest)

Attacking Wales international who has gone from strength to strength since joining from Tottenham two years ago. Ever-present last season.

Right midfield

Peter Whittingham (Cardiff)

Scored 25 goals from midfield last season. Started with Aston Villa, where he won England Under-21 honours, and has blossomed since moving to Cardiff.

Central midfield

Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth)

Scored penalty to help Portsmouth beat Spurs in FA Cup semi-final but missed from the spot in final against Chelsea. Played for Ghana in the World Cup.

Kevin Thomson (Middlesbrough)

Scotland international who joined exodus of Old Firm players to Boro this summer. Won back-to-back Scottish Premier League titles with Rangers.

Left midfield

Darren Ambrose (Crystal Palace)

His 15 goals were a major factor in Palace's survival in the Championship last season. Cool finisher and excellent dead-ball striker.

Striker

Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough)

Australian who scored 41 goals in 70 League appearances for Celtic before joining Middlesbrough. Won Scottish title in first season at Celtic.

Kris Boyd (Middlesbrough)

Scotland international who hit 101 goals in 143 League games for Rangers. Scottish football's leading scorer in four of the last five seasons.

Paul Newman's new Football League column starts Monday in The Independent

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