Writer: Jorge's Jottings
Date:Thursday August 3 2006
Last season took the Conference by storm winning 28 of the 42 games losing only 7 (with 7 drawn), scoring 76 goals letting in just 45 in the process. This season will depend on how Stanley view there achievement, if they carry the momentum gained last season they will have a good year as did Carlisle. However if they sit back and bask in just been a league club again then they could be caught out just like Barnet nearly found out to there cost last year. Boss John Coleman must hope for a good start otherwise that confidence could evapourate quickly.
Signings IN -Andrew Todd(Burton Albion),Sean Docherty(Port Vale),Julian N`da (Rouen)
OUT-Danny Alcock, Mark Boyd, Steve Jagielka
Prediction a good start but may struggle to keep going, result a season of high hopes ending in a mid-table safety zone.
Last season finished five points off relegation with 54 points having won 12 drawn 18 and lost 16, scoring 44 and letting in 57 . This season I would not have Paul Fairclough`s job for love or money. Behind the scene turmoil over the ground and access at one point seem to mean that Underhill was not going to see league two football this season, this seems to have been resolved but it is unsettled times at Barnet. Goals were a problem last season and despite the signing of a Brazilian striker today this may remain a problem. Especially with one striker still playing for HM Prison Service and the other who didn`t live up to his billing last season.
Signings InJason Puncheon (Out of Contract) Nicky Nicolau( Swindon Town) Lee Harrison (Peterborough United)
OUT - Damian Batt ,Ben Bowditch , Simon Clist ,Luke Hickie ,Lee Roache , Louie Soares
Prediction Whilst it seems unjust to suggest that Barnet would enjoy life at the top of the conference rather than the bottom of the league it almost seems like they are planning that way, a season of struggle on the cards, unless major changes happen during the season a bottom two finish seems likely.
Last season the pilgrims promised so much with high profile signings such as JJ from under our noses and others, however these signings flattered to deceive as manager Steve Evans failed to get the most out of the team, they finished mid table on 61 points with 15 wins and 15 loses, scoring 50 letting in 60. This season again some good summer signings the board have backed the manager but this time they must come up with the goods. Stevenage`s prolific striker Tony Elding must come up trumps with Julian Jochim to ensure they are pushing for the play offs. The other signings have the experience to ensure it happens. If they don`t I feel it will rest on the managers head.
Signings IN-Paul Tait (Rochdale),Richie Ryan (scunny), Mark Albrighton (Donny), Tim Ryan (peterboro), Francis Green (Lincoln), Anthony Elding (Stevenage), David Farrell (Peterboro)Andy Marriot (Torquay)
OUT- Alan White, Austin McCann, Lawrie Duffield,Steve Melton, Danny Thomas
Prediction- there or there abouts play offs must be the minimum standard anything less may see Steve Evans out of a job come June.
The "Gas" should do better this season, last season brought mid table finish on 60 points with 17 wins and a goal return of 59 for (67 against). The management team of Paul Trollope and Lennie Lawerence should get the best out of the players at there disposal. Upfront Junior Agogo and Walker should pose a threat to most League Two defences. However the crucial area for Rovers will be in defence where new Keeper Steve Philips and Full back Ryan Green will need tighten things up. It will be hoped that another new face Sammy Igoe will pull the strings in midfield.
Signings In- Sammy Igoe (Millwall), Ryan Green (Hereford), Andy Sandel (Bath),Ollie Barnes (Bristol City), Steve Philips (Bristol City).
OUT- Christian Edwards, Jamie Forrester,Ben Wilkshire, Martin Horsell, Jon Bass, Mark Preece, Matt Thorne.
Prediction - There support demands they are going to be around the play offs, the only question mark is if the board need to cash in on Junior Agogo. the loss of there main strike threat would see there hopes fade. It is a shame since a good season for Rovers may well be overshadowed by promotion for Bristol City. But I can see it all ending in mid table.
Under returning manager Mark Wright a fine end of season brought safety with 54 points, the loss of Ben Davies and Ryan Lowe has been softened by the arrival of a number of new signings. Hoever the board have questioned there investment after some poor attendances in pre season. In Roberto Martinez they have someone to run midfield but will they hit the net often enough. In Drew Broughton they will have a player which will be a handful but I can`t see him scoring the goals required for a promotion push. Ex Saddler Jamie Mc Sporran however could, if he regains his fitness after two years which have been injury nightmares.
Signings IN-Roberto Martinez (Swansea City) Glenn Cronin (Exeter City) Ashley Westwood (Northampton Town) Kevin Sandwith (Macclesfield Town) Jonathan Walters (Wrexham) Dean Bennett (Wrexham) Drewe Broughton (Rushden) Jermaine McSporran (Doncaster) Graham Allen (Rushden) Phil Bolland (Out of Contract) Jamie Hand (Northampton Town) Laurence Wilson (Everton) John Danby (Kidderminster)
OUT Paul Tait Boston United Carl Regan Macclesfield Town Wayne Brown Hereford United Ryan Brookfield Out of Contract Tommy Curtis Out of Contract Luke Dimech Out of Contract Abdelhalim El Kholti Out of Contract Marcus Richardson Out of Contract Ben Davies Shrewsbury Town Chris MacKenzie Shrewsbury Town Stuart Drummond Shrewsbury Town Craig Dove Out of Contract Paul Harrison Out of Contract Scott McNiven
Prediction Mark Wright will have a strong organised team which will give any team a game and they will flirt with the play offs but I see them just failing in the last few games 8-9 perhaps.
Last season Darlo pulled up just short, finishing three points off the play offs, wining 16 games drawing and losing 15 scoring 58 conceding 52. So far this season the word coming out of Darlington is the team is looking the best they have had for some years. Boss David Hodgson has picked up some interesting signings Barry Conlon returning from Barnsley and Martin Smith from Northampton should do well as should Michael Cummins from the Vale. The unknown is two signings from foreign clubs. This added to the crop of good young players should see Darlington into the top seven.
Signings IN - Gaetano Gillanza (Young Boys), Barry Conlon (Barnsley), Michael Cummins (Vale), Patrick Collins (Sheff Wed), Kalu Ngoma.
OUT- David McGurk,Matt Clarke, Ryan Valentine, Joe Kendrick, Matt Appleby, Adrian Webster,Akpo Sodje, Guy Bates.
Prediction - good times to roll in Darlington with Play off football its reward.
Should have won automatic promotion, didn`t. Should have won the play offs and didn`t . Have lost there manager Michael Reddy has handed in a transfer request. It doesn`t sound too rosey really. However they still have the spine of a very good league Two team and have brought well this summer. New manager Graham Rodgers will miss Steve Mildenhall in goal but should have an able replacement in Phil Barnes, perhaps a bigger miss will be centre half Rob Jones with a lot more expected of his defensive partner Whittle. Upfront the experience of Rankine will ensure the goals should flow. This will be another nail biting season where automatic promotion and play off lottery will be on the cards.
Signings IN - Isaiah Rankin (Brentford), Phil Barnes (Sheff Utd), Peter Beagrie (Scunny), Gary Harkins (Blackburn)
OUT- Mark Goodfellow, Steve Mildenhall,Kalala, Rob Jones, John Lukic, Glen Downey, Jermaine Palmer, Thomas Pinault
Prediction - an unsettling time at Blundell Park and the season could go either way but I expect they will have enough strength left to fight to get out of the division once more.
Date:Thursday August 3 2006
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