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Match Roundups

Sky Bet EFL: Team of the Week - EFL Kick-Off weekend

8 August 2016

We're back! The close-season has flown by, and what an #EFLKickOff weekend we witnessed as Season 2016/17 started in style.

Dream debuts, hat-trick heroes, penalty saves – the opening round of matches had it all. Unfortunately, we can only pick 11 players to make up the new campaign's first Team of the Week. But, with your help on social media, here it is...

Goalkeeper: Aaron Chapman (Accrington Stanley)

Chapman returned to Stanley in the summer and it looked like a nightmare start for the 6'8 stopper when he brought down Matty Blair in the first minute of their match with Doncaster Rovers.

However, the 26-year-old denied Andy Williams from scoring the first Saturday goal of the new season and the hosts went on to win 3-2.

Defender: Byron Webster (Millwall)

Runners-up in last year's Play-Off Final, Millwall signalled their intentions this season with a thumping 3-0 win over Oldham Athletic.

Last term, Webster netted three goals in the final five Sky Bet League One games for the Lions, and he picked up where he left off with the third and final goal at The Den.

Read more: Three points, top of Sky Bet League One, but Neil Harris wants more

Defender: Joe McNerney (Crawley Town)

Six season openers since their EFL arrival, and now six wins for Crawley following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers.

It was a hard-earned three points for the side which fielded seven debutants, but McNerney – one of the remaining Reds from 2015/16 – was key, making a vital double block to keep the Chairboys at bay.

Defender: Scott Cuthbert (Luton Town)

Expecting to sit on the bench for the majority of the game at least, Cuthbert played a starring role for Luton after earning a late call-up to the starting XI against Plymouth Argyle.

With Alan Sheehan injured in the warm-up, the central defender took the armband and delivered a captain's performance to keep last season's Play-Off finalists at bay; the Hatters marching to a 3-0 win and a place at the Sky Bet League Two summit.

Midfielder: Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)

The only one of the three relegated sides to win their Sky Bet Championship opener, newcomers Norwich City blew away Blackburn Rovers with a 4-1 win at Ewood Park.

Plenty impressed for Alex Neil's side, but Hoolahan scored one, made one and picked up the Man of the Match award for the table-topping Canaries.

Midfielder: Yaser Kasim (Swindon Town)

Kasim found the net just once for Swindon in 2015/16, but matched that tally at the first time of asking with the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Coventry City.


— dash scarface (@_mickeycowan_) August 6, 2016
After delivering an all-action midfield display, the Iraqi international popped up with five minutes remaining to fire home the winner and get the Robins rocking.

Midfielder: Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)

Much has been made of the 'Wagner Revolution' after a busy summer at the John Smith's Stadium, and a trio of Terriers were touted for selection on social media.

Rajiv Van La Parra and Jack Payne both impressed, but we can only pick one – and we've gone for Aaron Mooy. The Manchester City loanee bossed the midfield as Huddersfield ran out 2-1 winners over Brentford.

Midfielder: Marcus Maddison (Peterborough United)

A topsy-turvy battle at Spotland saw Peterborough continue their free-scoring from in a 3-2 success against Rochdale.

Posh netted 82 goals last term, and Maddison kicked things off this time around with a fine opener. The 22-year-old's neat link-up with Chris Forrester led to a second equaliser, before Gwion Edwards sealed maximum points late on.

@EFL Marcus Maddison. Influential throughout. Assist and a goal and a constant threat

— Andrew Swann (@AndySwann92) August 6, 2016
Forward: Grant Ward (Ipswich Town)

The first name down on our teamsheet this week, this for a man who didn't even start Ipswich Town's 4-2 win over Barnsley!

Ward only arrived at Portman Road a week ago, but he well and truly arrived in the second half on Saturday. Just 39 seconds after his half-time introduction, he had his first goal. By the 61st minute, he had two, and he earned the matchball with a third in the 84th minute.

Forward: Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest)

Arguably the game of the weekend, Assombalonga scored twice for Forest as they overcame Sky Bet Championship debutants Burton Albion.

@EFL if @BrittOfficials isn't in the team of the week then give your heads a wobble!..... #nffc

— ✝️ Simon Holbrook ✝️ (@SBH1978) August 6, 2016
The Zaire-born striker, who returned from a 14-month lay-off at the back end of last season, announced his return with a brace in the 4-3 thriller at the City Ground.

Forward: Simeon Jackson (Walsall)

One of Jon Whitney's summer tasks was to find a new hero to wear the number nine shirt for the Saddlers. On Saturday's evidence, the Walsall boss may have done so.

Jackson, a Canadian international, showed his predatory instincts with two goals against AFC Wimbledon in a 3-1 win at Banks's Stadium.

Manager: Paul Hurst (Grimsby Town)

After a six-year absence from the EFL, Grimsby announced their return with a perfect performance at home to Morecambe.

Kayden Jackson and Ben Davies were two of the new faces brought in by Hurst – the third longest-serving manager in the EFL – during the summer, and they grabbed the goals as the Mariners made a winning return to Sky Bet League Two, which was the Result of the Day.

RESULT OF THE DAY: A number of impressive results, but @officialgtfc take it for their winning return!

— EFL (@EFL) August 6, 2016

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