The English Football League Championship is the second division of the football league in England. Teams that finish in the top two positions automatically qualify for promotion to the English Premier League while the 3rd to 6th placed teams engage in playoffs for the third promotion place. Despite being a lower level of English football, the standard of the Championship is actually very good. It is one of most valuable football leagues in the world, and boasts of some of the best players.. Today, you will be finding out some of the best players who excelled in the Championship division.
1. Troy Deeney
The Watford FC legend was the charismatic and inspirational captain of the Hornets. Deeney, over the past decade, was one of the best strikers in the Championship. The 33-year-old scored over 80 goals in 6 seasons when the London-based club played in the English second tier. The most famous of these goals was a dramatic winner against Leicester City in the 2013 Championship playoff semifinal. Troy played for some time in the top echelons of the EPL before they were relegated in 2020. On 30 August 2021, Deeney left Watford after 11 years at the club, he signed a two-year contract with Birmingham City, the team he has supported since childhood.
2. David Marshall
The Scottish goalkeeper is arguably one of the best and most consistent players to have featured in the Championship. Marshall played for Cardiff City for most of his time in the lower tier, but he has also worn the colors of Hull City FC and Norwich City FC. David is most fondly remembered for his starring role for the Bluebirds during the 2012-2013 season when he kept 18 clean sheets.
3. Ian Harte
Before making his name in the Premier League with Leeds United, the former Ireland international was regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the Championship in the late1990s to the early 2000s. Ian played for Championship clubs Reading FC and Bournemouth. He was twice named into the Championship team of the season.
4. Wes Hoolahan
Another Irish man on this list who did well for himself in the Championship. He featured mostly for Norwich City but also had a spell with West Brom. The former Ireland international was named into the team of the season for the 2010-2011 campaign.
5. Charlie Austin
The Berkshire-born English striker is one of the most prolific strikers the English second tier has ever seen. The 32-year-old scored over 80 goals in the EFL Championship across 3 different clubs, but his most consistent spell has been with London side Queens Park Rangers FC.