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Football League Golden Boot contenders: nine of the marksmen in contention

29 July 2015

The countdown now reads just nine days to go until the new Sky Bet Football League season begins, and we’re weighing up the contenders to finish top of the 2015/16 goalscoring charts.

Supporters have been sending their tips in on The Football League's social media platforms, and we've assembled nine of the top marksmen to look out for ahead of the new campaign.

Benik Afobe – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Afobe was part of an attack that set the Sky Bet Championship alight last term, along with Nouha Dicko and Bakary Sako.

He notched 13 goals during half a season at Molineux, having previously hit 19 for Milton Keynes Dons from August through to December. His efforts nearly helped Wolves clinch a Play-Off place on the final day, and his first full season in the second tier will be worth monitoring.

@football_league has to be @Afobe_ why are we even having this conversation?? 😂

— JT (@jontybird_9) July 29, 2015
Marc Richards – Northampton Town

Richards has consistently found the net over the years wherever he's played, but his first season back at Northampton last term saw him produce his best goal return since 2010/11.

Despite spells on the sidelines with injury, the 33-year-old struck 18 times for the Cobblers – possessing the most prolific strike rate among Sky Bet League 2's top scorers – and he will be crucial for Chris Wilder's men once more this term.

Will Grigg – Wigan Athletic

Grigg was a frequent scorer for Milton Keynes Dons in Sky Bet League 1 last season, racking up 20 goals during their successful promotion campaign.

The 24-year-old is a deadly finisher and, after completing a move to Wigan Athletic, he will be looking to have a productive maiden campaign for his new club.

Matt Tubbs - Portsmouth

Football League veteran Tubbs is likely to be a key attacking component in Paul Cook’s new-look Portsmouth side.

The 31-year-old led Sky Bet League 2’s scoring charts last term, netting 21 times, and he could prove just as lethal during the forthcoming season.

@football_league Matt Tubbs. He'll be desperate to retain the boot while sending us top promotion #pompey#FLKickOff

— Stephen Alley (@Stephen_PFC1898) July 29, 2015
Joe Garner – Preston North End

Garner may have missed two months of last season, but that didn't stop the Preston man finishing top of the Sky Bet League 1 goalscorers charts.

He grabbed 27 goals overall – including four in one game – as Preston secured promotion via the Play-Offs, and the boyhood Lilywhites fan can now test himself in the second tier as his club embark on their first season back in the Championship.

Leon Clarke – Bury

After a frustrating spell with Wolves, and on loan at Wigan, Clarke's sights will be set on reproducing his goalscoring exploits from prior to his Molineux move.

The 30-year-old struck regularly for Scunthorpe United and Coventry City before his move to the Championship outfit and if he and fellow striking recruit Tom Pope can get among the goals, then the Shakers could be set for a successful season back in Sky Bet League 1.

Tom Nichols – Exeter City

Twenty-one-year-old Nichols emerged as one of Sky Bet League 2’s unsung goalscoring talents during 2014/15, netting 15 times. His tally was bettered by only four other strikers in Tubbs, Richards, Jamie Cureton and Reuben Reid.

His fine performances followed his breakthrough for the Grecians in the previous year, where he scored six times, and his rise will be of avid interest to the division.

Tom Bradshaw – Walsall

With a total of 20 goals to his name last season, Walsall frontman Tom Bradshaw was at the forefront of a memorable campaign for the Saddlers, as they marched to a first ever Wembley appearance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final.

The Welshman enjoyed by far his strongest individual season to date, and his second season with Walsall will be one of intrigue, as he bids to reach double figures for the second time in his career.

Daryl Murphy – Ipswich Town

Daryl Murphy was The Football League’s top scorer during 2014/15, netting 27 times over the course of the season, and there is little reason to believe he won’t be on form again this time around.

With the likes of Freddie Sears, David McGoldrick and the newly acquired Brett Pitman supporting him in the striking positions at Portman Road, the powerful forward should receive plenty of service, with the Tractor Boys’ attacking options looking strong.

@football_league Daryl Murphy at Ipswich was superb against NFFC both times I saw him last season so he'd be my wager.

— Warren Allsworth (@warrenallsworth) July 29, 2015

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