Bristol City forward Nicky Maynard has been outlined as the One to Watch as the Robins host Queens Park Rangers this Tuesday.
One of many successful talents to role off the production line at Gresty Road, Maynard follows in the footsteps of forwards Dean Ashton and Rob Hulse as he looks to make his name in the Championship with high flyers Bristol City.
In the early days of his career Maynard impressed Dario Gradi as he emerged as the latest talent in the Crewe youth set-up. Bagging 27 goals in one season in the Under 18`s prompted Gradi to hand the young prodigy his first professional contract. Subsequently he was sent out on loan to Witton Albion.
A solitary goal for the side based in Northwich was all he could muster in 11 appearances nevertheless his influence on the field was enough to spur Albion to their most successful run of the season in the Unibond League.
Maynard burst onto the scene infront of a multitude of scouts as he bagged his first goal for Crewe with his very first touch of the game as a substitute for Lee Bell. However this contribution wasn`t enough as Alex were relegated from the Coca Cola Championship.
Into League One and Maynard was to feature more heavily bagging 18 goals in 34 appearances for the Alex – this included braces against Brighton, Huddersfield and Oldham.
He and partner Luke Varney had struck up a formidable partnership bagging a combined 33 goals in League One that season, but with Varney`s £2m sale to Charlton Athletic, Maynard had a new partner in fellow youth product Tom Pope.
Maynard was left distraught by an injury on the opening game of the 2007-08 season against Brighton. The bone fracture of his fibula and damaged ankle ligaments put pay to the first half of his season. Those who knew Maynard knew he would bounce back a stronger player and this proved to be the case hitting 15 goals in his remaining 27 appearances.
In the summer of 2008 Maynard was linked with a move away from Gresty Road notably to Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion. Following Gary Johnson pulling the plug on a deal to sign Michael Mifsud he moved for Maynard who was snapped up for £2.25m.
11 goals followed in his first full season with the Robins including a brace away at Watford in a convincing 4-2 victory. That was during a positive spell for Maynard where over the Christmas period he managed five goals in five games.
He has started off the present campaign in positive fashion also, bagging his first goal in a League Cup game against Brentford before scoring the winner in the controversial fixture between the Robins and Crystal Palace.
He will look to continue his good goalscoring record against Queens Park Rangers this Tuesday with a view to helping the Robins to a playoff place in a difficult league this season.
Maynard v Queens Park Rangers