Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A Look at the Opposition: Part 1

Here is the first of our 3 part look at City's League Two opponents this coming season.

AFC Wimbledon
MANAGER
Terry Brown
PLAYERS IN
Max Porter, Matt Mitchel-King, Chris Bush, Charles Ademeno,
Jack Midson.
PLAYERS OUT
Ismail Yakubu, Jon Main, Ed Harris, Mark Nwokeji, Delano Sam-Yorke, Danny Kedwell, Steven Gregory
Following promotion via the play offs last year, Wimbledon fans are ecstatic about reclaiming ‘their place’ in the league. However, following the loss of influential midfielder Steve Gregory to Bournemouth and leading scorer Danny Kedwell to Gillingham, Wombles fans have readjusted their expectations – happy to be here and happy for a mid table finish.
Accrington Stanley
MANAGER
John Coleman
PLAYERS IN
Danny Coid, Kevin Mcintyre, Kurtis Guthrie
PLAYERS OUT
Jonny Bateson , Andy Parkinson, Chris Turner, Rory Boulding, Zak Riley, Andy Owens, Tom Smyth, Phil Edwards, Joe Jacobson, Jimmy Ryan, Terry Gornell, Alex Cisak, Sean McConville
Perennial underdogs, Coleman’s Accrington side shocked everyone last year by making the play offs. Unfortunately Stanley lost out to Stevenage and have lost key players such as Jimmy Ryan, Terry Gornell and keeper Alex Cisak. Throughout his time at Stanley, Coleman has seen his side finish higher in the league each year, so he has a tough task this year to carry on that tradition – but if he does it almost guarantees promotion for the Lancashire side.  
Aldershot Town
MANAGER
Dean Holdsworth
PLAYERS IN
Michael Rankine, Aaron Brown, Ross Worner, James Collins, Bradley Bubb
PLAYERS OUT
Marvin Morgan, Tim Sills, Wade Small, Jack Randall, Clayton Fortune, Ben Harding, Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, John Halls, Damian Spencer, Anthony Charles
Having come in half way through last season, Holdsworth steadied the ship which saw Aldershot go on an excellent run seeing them finish solidly in mid table. Have lost some big players from the last two seasons such as Anthony Charles and Marvin Morgan – although the latter didn’t play last year – and have replaced them with young players. This year will be a big test for Holdsworth and the Shots are unlikely to trouble anything higher than mid table.
Barnet
MANAGER
Lawrie Sanchez
PLAYERS IN
Sam Deering, Mark Byrne, Danny Senda
PLAYERS OUT
Glen Southam, Charlie Stimson, Danny Kelly, Reece Yorke, Jake Cole, Joe Devera
Having completed another great escape last season, Barnet haven’t seen much activity over summer. Grazioli, who kept them up, has gone into the background again and former Northern Ireland boss Sanchez has taken the reigns. With Izale McLeod and Steve Kabba up front they certainly have the firepower, but they both need to stay fit and receive the service. Otherwise it could be another season of struggle for the Bees.
Bristol Rovers
MANAGER
Paul Buckle
PLAYERS IN
Scott Bevan, Matt Gill, Craig Stanley, Adam Virgo, Mustapha Carayol, Lee Browns, Matt Harrold, Michael Smith, Scotty McGleish, Chris Zebroski, Joe Anyinsah, Lance Cronin, CIan Bolger,
Kayne Mclaggon, Michael Boateng
PLAYERS OUT
Will Hoskins, Jeff Hughes, Carl Regan, Danny Senda, Gavin Williams, JP Kalala, Mike Green, Darryl Duffy, Jerel Ifil, Ashley Bowle, Sam Butler, Jack Camm, Alex Hoyle, Robbi Maggs, Lewis Parker, Tyrone Rhoden, Tom Seery, Jordan Tilson, Jeff Hughes
Paul Buckle has overseen a lot of ins and outs over the summer at Rovers this year as they look to bounce back to League One at the first time of asking. Despite losing influential striker Will Hoskins to Championship newcomers Brighton, Buckle has made some impressive signings; including veteran lower league goal scorer Scott McGleish and League Two target man Matt Harrold. With the signings of Matt Gill and Joe Anyinsah in midfield, expect The Gas to be challenging this season.
Burton Albion
MANAGER
Paul Peschisolido
PLAYERS IN
Cleveland Taylor, Chris Palmer, Justin Richards
PLAYERS OUT
Richard Walker, Richard Jackson, Keith Gilroy, Lewis Young, Garyn Preen, Russell Penn
Burton struggled in their second year of league football last term and it doesn’t look as if they have strengthened particularly well. A lot of people are tipping Burton to be down there again, but if they can get Cleveland Taylor firing and Justin Richards scoring, who has Shaun Harrods sizable boots to fill, they should be OK.
Cheltenham
MANAGER
Mark Yates
PLAYERS IN
Russell Penn, Marlon Pack, Alan Bennett, Sido Jombati, Kaid Mohammed, Bagasan Graham,  Harry Hooman, Daryl Duffy, Ethan Moore, James Spencer
PLAYERS OUT
JJ Melligan, Frankie Artus, Mark Riley, Daniel Lloyd-Weston, Jake Lee, Michael Pook, Wesley Thomas
Cheltenham started last season excellently but a poor run saw them dragged down towards the bottom and had the season been a month longer, they could have been in real trouble. Having lost top scorer Wes Thomas to Crawley, Cheltenham look weak up top and it could be a big ask for them to repeat the form of early last season. A season of struggle could be on the cards for the team from Gloucestershire.
Crawley Town
MANAGER
Steve Evans
PLAYERS IN
John Akinde, Wesley Thomas, Scott Davies, Jamie Day, Hope Akpan, Tyrone Barnett
PLAYERS OUT
Nick Jordan, Danny Hall, Sam Rents, Jamie Cook, Steve Masterton,
Tommy Brewer, Craig McAllister, Richard Brodie, Ben Wright
Conference winners Crawley are to embark on their first taste of league football this season. Having won the Conference at a canter and dumping three league sides out of the FA Cup last term, many expect Crawley to waltz through League Two this year. Having spent money last year, they have continued this trend, picking up Tyrone Barnett from Macclesfield. Having cherry picked Wes Thomas from Cheltenham, alongside the already prolific Matt Tubbs, Crawley look to have a formidable strike force. Scott Davies is also an excellent free signing from Reading. Just don’t congratulate the manager.


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