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Burton Albion centre-half Ian Sharps ready to join 500 club

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 22, 2014

By Tom Sloan

MILESTONE ... Ian Sharps is set to make his 500th Football League appearance.

MILESTONE ... Ian Sharps is set to make his 500th Football League appearance.

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IAN Sharps is looking forward to the 500th Football League appearance of his career – but thought he had already done it.

The 33-year-old Burton Albion centre-half will reach the milestone if, as expected, he features against Newport County tomorrow.

But an error on Soccerbase – now widely used as an online source of football appearance data – means Sharps, and everyone else, thought he had already passed 500.

"I thought it was the last game from last season," said the Brewers' experienced stopper. "I'd had a look and thought I'd got there.

"But it'll be nice to do it 'again'.

"I don't know the stat of how many people do it, but what it shows is that you've been around the game a long time."

The error in question centres around three play-off games for Rotherham in 2009-10 which Soccerbase has mistakenly listed as league matches.

So Newport will be the 500th – and Sharps says it will be a tough test as Albion look to equal the club record of five victories at the start of a season – a record which has stood since 1956-57.

"Last year we went there and they gave us one of our toughest games and we were fortunate to come away with a 1-1 draw," said the former Tranmere man.

"We've got a similar set of lads and so have they, and we'll try to give a better account of ourselves.

"It's a banana skin – we're unbeaten and they haven't won yet and if we win we can go top."

So far, the Brewers have shown two sides to their character, with a cracking performance against Wigan Athletic in the Capital One Cup and grafting displays to beat Dagenham and Exeter City.

Sharps says the team can show its gutsy qualities when it needs to.

"We won ugly against Dagenham, but after 30 minutes we dominated the game," he said.

"Against Exeter it could've been two or three-nil on the day without the saves their keeper made.

"We didn't win ugly as such, but we can dig in when we have to.

"I don't think we've been playing badly so far."

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