Relegation from league one was a bitter pill to swallow for a team which failed to get into the Championship at the last hurdle in Cardiff the previous May. Injuries and a lack of goals cost them dear with 50 points not been enough. Only 44 goals been scored in there 46 games with only 11 wins all season. A new manager in Danny Wilson should be good enough to stop the rot and prove last season was a one off. It is a surprise that there have been no new faces at the Vic so far. How ever the exit door has been used by Adam Boyd and fellow striker Chris Llewellyn . Goals will have to come from Joel Porter and the defence should be marshalled by a similar back four.
OUT-Adam Boyd, Chris Llewellyn, Darren Craddock, Neil Wilkinson, Hugh Robertson, Steven Istead, James Winter, Andy Appleby
Prediction Squad is still fairly strong and as long as losing isn`t a habit carried into next season they should be at the right end of the table, the reported 500k they got for Boyd means that a late raid into the transfer market is a possibility I expect them to be in the play off hunt.
Finally made it back into the league via the play offs after a number of near misses, they will be determined not to be the first club to go straight back down. Manager Graham Turner should be capable of achieving that. Transfer activity has been more drastic than many at Edgar street would have predicted but this will ensure that there is no complacency . The new men whilst not spectacular bring in experience which will ensure a mid table finish as minimum.
Signings In -Richard Rose, Jon Wallis (both Gills),Tom Stills (Oxford), Glyn Thompson (Shrews) Gareth Sheldon (Kiddy), Wayne Brown (Chester), Phillip Guliver (Rushden)
OUT-Craig Stanley, Adam Stansfield, Ryan Green, Jamie Pitman,Stacy Coldicot, Tony James, Guy Ipoua
Prediction Perhaps the hardest to predict with many expecting a season of struggle, however I feel owner/manager will have them comfortable, they have the winning mentality losing only 6 last season, may well flirt with the play offs falling short with a mid table finish.
Last season Lincoln again showed that they know how to be competitive and reach the play offs with 71 points, 15 wins and 21 draws scoring 65 goals on the way letting in 53. If they could have turned draws into wins automatic promotion would have been there destiny. However miracle worker Keith Alexander has moved to the Posh, as other stars have also found the exit door. In comes new manager John Schofield help by John Deehan, new signings Mark Stallard, Jamie Forrester will be asked to find the goals but gaps in midfield and defence may prevent another play off finish. The wild card is the proposed buy out of the club with the promise of a vast cash injection, if and when this happens may alter the events at Sincil Bank.
Signings In -Ryan Semple Peterborough United Mark Stallard Shrewsbury Town Adrian Moses Crewe Alexandra Jamie Forrester Bristol Rovers Ryan Amoo Unattached
OUT-Simon Yeo Peterborough United Jude Stirling Peterborough United Marvin Robinson Macclesfield Town Gareth McAuley Leicester City Scott Loach Watford Jamie McCombe Bristol City Steve Robinson Out of Contract Francis Green Boston United
Prediction- Once again Lincoln will be tough to beat but in the end last seasons draws may end up as loses so it will be mid table for the Imps.
Last season started with hope following the previous years play off finish, Striker Jon Parkin fired 7 goals in nine games, then it all went Pete Tonge, Jon Parkin sold to Hull, league charges and financial difficulties resulted in a bottom half finish with 54 points and 71 goals conceded .
Worries still shroud Moss road, manager Brian Horton may find that ex saddler Marvin Robinson may struggle to get the goals the team needs. The loss of influential midfielder Danny Whitaker, along with Paul Harsley will only be partial offset by the signing of Man Utd youngster Tommy Lee. There squad has a rather youthful look and as we found out if relegation pressure tells that can count against you.
Signings In-Johnny Brain Port Vale Colin Heath Chesterfield Carl Regan Chester City Marvin Robinson Lincoln City Matt McNeil Hyde United Tommy Lee Out of Contract
OUT-Danny Whitaker Port Vale Kevin Sandwith Chester City Paul Harsley Port Vale Mark Bailey Out of Contract Michael Briscoe Out of Contract Tim Deasy Out of Contract Kevin Townson Out of Contract Clyde Wijnhard Out of Contract
Prediction This could be Macclesfields closes flirtation with relegation, it may well go to a last day game against Notts County at Moss Road.
Last seasons finish on 54 points was actually quiet a turnaround since Carlton Palmer looked to be taking them to the conference before the appointment of Peter Shirtliff who pulled things around . This season off the field rumblings about the antics of the Chairman will continue to be an unsettling back drop. In goal Kevin Pressman has been replaced by Carl Muggleton, whilst a lot will be expected from wingers Michael Boulding and Matty Hamshaw from Stockport. How far up the table The Stags finish may depend on the service these players give the strikers Richie Barker and Danny Reet. The wild card player may well be Alex Baptiste who is apparently one of the hottest properties in the Division so the basis is there.
Signings In-Carl Muggleton Chesterfield Matthew Hamshaw Stockport Johnny Mullins Reading Michael Boulding Retirement Ryan Boulding Unknown
OUT-Jason Talbot Port Vale Rhys Day Out of Contract Kyle Jacobs Out of Contract Kevin Pressman Out of Contract Adam Rundle Rochdale Gus Uhlenbeek Out of Contract
Prediction- better than last season but still stuck in mid table, Michael Boulding at 30 having retired and Matty Hamshaw (if he was that good why did Stockport let him go) may not be the stars Stag fans hoped for.
Milton Keynes Dons
Last seasons relegation brought a smile to may a fan, since the Dons have taken up the mantle of most hated club from Millwall, due to whole move thing. However this season may finally bring some success to the National Hockey Stadium. Manager Mad Dog, Martin Allen is possible the best manager in the division and will create a whole siege mentality around the Dons. Strikers make a difference and in Clive Platt, Scott Taylor and Aaron Wilbraham they have three who can get goals in league Two, of course there is also Izele McCloud but I expect him to go before the end of August. His mantle been taken by John Hasting a non league hot shoot. Other defensive signings and the wingers Jon Paul Mcgovern and Lloyd Dyer wouldn`t be out of place in league one. However key signing maybe Sean O`Hanlon who almost kept Swindon up single handed.
Signings In- Jon-Paul McGovern (Sheff Wed), Sean O`Hanlon (Swindon), Lloyd Dyer (Millwall), Jamie Smith (Bristol City) Jon Hastings (Tooting), Clayton Bankola(Brentford), Drissa Diallo, (Sheff Wed)
OUT Nick McKoy, Malvin Kamara
Prediction- Play off for sure possible league champions, you don`t know how hard that is to write.
League 2 predictions H -M