U's duo make Actim rankings top 10

COLCHESTER United could boast two players in the top five of the final placings in the Actim Index, testimony to their fantastic first season in the Championship.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United could boast two players in the top five of the final placings in the Actim Index, testimony to their fantastic first season in the Championship.

Jamie Cureton, who won the Golden Boot with his 24 goals, finished second behind Birmingham City attacker Gary McSheffrey in the Actim players rankings.

The U's front-runner ended with a points tally of 722, which was just 13 behind McSheffrey. A strong finish from Sunderland winger Carlos Edwards, who had begun the season at Luton Town, saw him rise to third spot on 653 points.

Chris Iwelumo, who formed such a deadly partnership with Cureton, held on for fourth position (647), while Norwich City's experienced striker Darren Huckerby completed the top five.

The U's were obviously the only club to have two players in the top five, although both Birmingham (McSheffrey and Nicklas Bendtner) and Preston (Graham Alexander and David Nugent) had two representatives in the top 10.

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Goal-poacher Alan Lee was Ipswich Town's highest-placed finisher in 17th slot, just one place and four points ahead of Colchester United skipper Karl Duguid, who accumulated 554 points.

The U's had three other players in the top 100. Defender Wayne Brown, who played ever single minute of every single match, was 37th on 498 points.

Richard Garcia who, like Iwelumo, is out-of-contract and therefore considering his options this summer, was 75th on 442 points, just ahead of team-mate Kevin Watson (79th with 437 points).

Ipswich's only other representative in the top 100 was Alex Bruce, who was down in 95th slot.

There were several former Colchester players in the frame, including Preston defender Liam Chilvers (28th), Birmingham striker Rowan Vine (72nd) and Derby front-runner Craig Fagan (77th).

Matt Murray, of Wolves, was the highest-ranked goalkeeper in 11th position.

His closest rivals were Stoke City's ever-present Steve Simonsen (19th) and Derby's Stephen Bywater (23rd).

The Actim ratings take into account all the action in a match. A player's points tally is worked out by the number of goals scored, shots on target, corners, fouls, passes, tackles, assists, clean-sheets and various other categories.

Meanwhile, former Colchester defender Alan White has signed for his home town club of Darlington.

White made 166 senior appearances for the U's between 1999 and 2004, before moving to Leyton Orient. He has also had spells at Boston and Notts County.

Actim Index top 10

1 G McSheffrey (Birmingham) 735pts; 2 J Cureton (Colchester) 722; 3 C Edwards (Sunderland) 653; 4 C Iwelumo (Colchester) 647; 5 D Huckerby (Norwich) 631; 6 M Chopra (Cardiff) 630; 7 G Alexander (Preston) 622; 8 N Bendtner (Birmingham) 610; 9 D Nugent (Preston) 592; 10 S Howard (Derby) 582.

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