League 2 Season Preview

We are just 24 hours away from another football league season starting and in League 2 it promises another entertaining season where any one of a number of sides could claim the 4 promotion places while there are a equal number of clubs who may
be looking over their shoulder. From last season we said goodbye to Champions Portsmouth who will strut their stuff in League One along with fellow promoted sides Doncaster and Plymouth. Blackpool also beat the odds, not for the first time in recent history,
and won promotion via the play offs. Sadly Leyton Orient were relegated but hopefully will not be missing too long. After some terrible mismanagement they seem to be on the up again. They were joined by Hartlepool, much to Soccer Saturdays Jeff Stelling’s
disappointment.

 

New beginnings means new teams however and Forest Green Rovers become the latest side to taste Football League action. Winning the Play Off final has seen them join National League Champions Lincoln in League Two. From League One come two
former Premier League sides as Coventry City and Swindon Town were both relegated fom League One. They were joined by Chesterfield and Port Vale.

 

Will this seasons teams match the 1490 goals scored last season?

Steve Evans Mansfield are the bookies favourites to win Promotion, while Morecambe are favourites to go down – do you agree?

 

I set out to find one fan from each club to give us predictions for the season ahead, so below, in their own words, is this seasons Skybet League 2 preview written by the fans, for the fans:

 

Accrington Stanley by Jordan Acton

 Star player – Billy Kee 

Best signing – Erico Sousa 

Biggest Loss- Shay McCarten

Hot prospect – Omar Beckles 

Prediction for the season – Playoffs at least 

Promotion – Mansfield, Luton, Swindon and Accrington

Relagation – Newport and Morecambe

 

Star man – Billy Kee

Barnet by Joe Ferris @joeferris147

Star Player: John Akinde

Best signing: Shaq Coulthirst 

Biggest Loss: Tom champion

Hot Prospect (s): Jack Taylor 

Season predictions:

Barnet – Top 12

Promotion- Lincoln, Mansfield, Swindon, 

Relegation- Yeovil, Crawley 

 

Goal-den boy – John Akinde


Cambridge United by Phil Clarke

Josh Coulson will be our stay player. He is always solid as proven by the fact he just had his 10th year testimonial although Forde could prove a fans favourite.

I think David Forde will be our biggest signing. He is an Ireland International and he kept 19 clean sheets last season.

Will Norris will be a big loss. He was sold to Wolves but that loss has been compensated by Forde’s arrival.

Jevani Brown is quite a hot prospect. 22 year old from St Neots.

How we do this season depends on if we can keep Derry as manager. There are rumours Hearts want him. It will also depend on how our players adjust to our new ‘pressing game’.

I think Lincoln will be promoted and Morecambe will go down.

 Forde looking to better his 19 clean sheets from last season.

Carlisle United by Charlie Lewis

I belive Nicky Adams will be our star player this season, great at swinging a cross in and chips in with hard work and the odd goal, a realy positive player who deserves to be playing at a higher level.

Our best signing having played this pre season would be Tom Parkes, finally a decent defender! He likes a strong tackle and seems fairly comfortable on the ball for the most part, he also appears to be a good genuine person which just takes him to that level higher.

Our biggest loss so far has to be Mark Gillespie, a great shot stoper with solid distribution who could easily win you a game. An established number 1 for the last few years as well so he will be a big miss on and off the pitch.

I wouldn’t really say we have a hot prospect, we’ve signed on a few youngsters on pro contracts but we haven’t really seen much of them up till now so it’s questionable how much they will feature this year.

Promotion has to be the main aim this year, a solidly improving team who complety collapsed last season. If promotion back into league 1 isn’t achived this year questions really need to be asked about the future of Keith.

For promotion I tip Mansfield, Us, Exeter and Luton

For relegation I tip Newport and Morecambe. Relegation is the hardest question to answer but i just really can’t see Morecambe staying up and I don’t think Newport can manage next year, they haven’t really brought anyone in while most of the league have been improving.

 

 

Big impact – Tom Parkes

Cheltenham Town by Tracey Howells @Traceyctfc

 Not really got a star player but could be Eisa.  

Best signing possibly is Atangana. 

Hot prospects could be Sellers. 

Without doubt Waters to Northampton. 

We are going to struggle as have a very small squad. 

Promotion is between Luton and Mansfield. 

Relegation either Crawley or Barnet. 

Huge loss – Talisman Waters has gone to Northampton.

Chesterfield by Darren Pagliano

 Star Player: Chris O’Grady 

Biggest signing: Chris O’Grady at the mo

Biggest loss: Glad most went after last season but to pick one it’s Jon Nolan 

Hot Prospect: Joe Rowly 

Prediction for the season: Hopefully Playoffs but think mid-table 

Promotion: Swindon, Mansfield, Luton and Coventry 

Relegation: Newport and Accrington

 

Important – Chris O’Grady

Colchester United by Si @co5712

Star player will, in my opinion, be Craig Slater. He is a strong creative midfielder. Was injured towards the end of last season and was really missed. He adds attacking opinions, is a play maker and a real handful to the opposition. 

Best signing – Really our only one. Ryan Jackson from Gillingham. Has dropped down a league and brings experience. Will play Right Back or Right Wing Back as a direct replacement for Richard Brindley who couldn’t agree on a new contract. Whether Ryan is a good buy will remain to be seen as he gets mixed reviews from Gillingham fans. Hopefully he will settle and be worth the investment. 

Biggest lost so far is Chris Porter to Crewe. He was the clubs top scorer last season, even though he missed part of it through injury. He was alway a danger in the box and gave his all. Some fans didn’t like him, but he will surely be missed. Not only for his goals but also as it leave the attacking options limited in the squad. A close second is George Elokobi. He may have been getting on a bit but he brought the fans and players closer together. Plus he was a real leader when it wasn’t going as well as it could on the pitch. He should have stayed as a back up and used more for his leadership and character in the dressing room. 

Hot prospects are both defenders. Frankie Kent and Cameron James. Both young players who get better every game. Although young both show maturity beyond their years and have bright futures in the game. Can read the play and are not afraid to get stuck in and keep cool heads. 

This season we need to build on the momentum of last season. Missed the playoffs by one point. If the team can start strong and stay injury free it’s got the makings of a good campaign. Automatic promotion is the aim, playoffs a must. 

The four teams to promote:

Colchester United (Clearly)

Coventry

Swindon

Exeter or Luton for the playoffs

Relegation:

Newport 

Forest Green 

 

 Big loss: Chris Porter

Coventry City by Matt Jones

Who will be your star player? George Thomas (if he signs a new deal) Micheal Doyle if he doesn’t 

Who is your best signing so far? Micheal Doyle

Who is your biggest loss so far? Geal Bigrirama

Any hot prospects to watch out for? Stevenson

How do you think you will get on this season? Top 7

Who do you tip for Promotion? Mansfield

Who do you tip for relegation? Yeovil

 

https://youtu.be/Q3hWqAzKuQg

Will George Thomas sign for former Premier League champions Leicester?

Crawley by Rueben Watt @WattReuben

 Best player – Glenn Morris. We would of been relegated last season had it not of been for him in goal! Pulls of some great saves and is experienced.

Best signing – Thomas Verheydt. A big dutch lad from MMV (I think), who from youtube videos can score some cracking goals as well as being a big presence.

Biggest Loss – James Collins. Last years leading goalscorer has joined Luton. Crawley fans are struggling to see where all the goals are going to come from now.

Hot prospects – Panutche Camará signed from Dulwich Hamlet. A youngster with the potential to set the league alight.

Prediction : Midtable due to a new manager who doesn’t have much experience but a decent squad.

Promotion: Luton, Mansfield and Wycombe 

Relegation: Forest Green and Newport

Breakthrough season for Camara?

Crewe Alexandra by Steve Johnson @tFMstig

 Who will be your star player? Chris Dagnall, especially if he can play the same way as the back end of last season where he scored 11 in the final 14 games that he played.

Who is your best signing so far? It’s between Chris Porter and Michael
Raynes for me. Both players have been leaders for their previous clubs and
their experience will be vital amongst the various young players in the squad.

Who is your biggest loss so far? Probably defender Jon Guthrie who was a
solid centre back who could fill in at left back – he’ll be playing for Walsall in League 1 next season.

Any hot prospects to watch out for? As always there are a few decent
prospects at the club. Without looking at the more senior of the youngsters (like James Jones and George Cooper who both have around 100 apps and both are 20/21), attacking midfielders Callum Ainley and Charlie Kirk have shown promise playing for the U18/U21/U23 teams over the past
few years but I’d say defender Perry Ng if you were asking for the most promising – a central defender who the club see playing senior football more as a full-back for the first team but has looked comfortable in
whichever position he’s played in.

How do you think you will get on this season? Cautiously optimistic that
we’ll be involved with the play-off picture but think that we’ll just miss out and finish 10th-12th, an improvement on last season’s 19th place.

Who do you tip for Promotion? No good with predictions like this but think
that Coventry City, Swindon Town, Lincoln City and hopefully ourselves if we can click more often than not – do think that Exeter City could be the 4th though.

Who do you tip for relegation? Yeovil Town and Newport County

Could Dagnall fire Crewe to Promotion?

Exeter City by Tyler Camp @tylercamp74

Star player: Wheeler

Best signing: Dean moxey 

Biggest loss: Ollie Watkins

Hot Prospect: Jack Sparkes

How will you vet on this season: Play offs

Promotion Prediction: Swindon, Port Vale, Luton and Coventry 

Relegation: FGR and Morecombe

 He is back: Dean Moxey

 

Forest Green Rovers by Luis Gough @Luisgough

Star Player: Marsh-Brown

Biggest signing: Lee Collins

Biggest loss: Marcus Kelly

Hottest Prospect: Brad Collins

Prediction for the season: Bottom half of table.

Promotion: Luton

Relegation: Newport

 

 Star man – Marsh-Brown

Grimsby Town by Ben @Becur24

 It is my belief that Grimsby’s star player next season will be Sam Jones. I am basing this on his performances from when we bought him in January, he offers us something different with his versatility,  he can play in central midfield or has a “number 10” he can also play just as well has a striker 7 goals in 16 games since January are proof of this.

For me Nathan Clarke is the best signing that Grimsby have made so far. With his experience alongside Collins (who I think will skipper the team this season) both of them as a partnership will be real assets to the team, especially having lost the likes of Pearson, Gowling and Disley.

Without doubt the biggest loss to the team has to be our player of the year Danny Andrew. He was always a League One level player playing in our team and he always showed League one quality. Also the fact that we have not replaced him yet makes it an even bigger loss.

The hot prospects to watch for in my opinion this season will be Jamey Osborne. Sadly he is out until christmas after doing his cruciate in training – It’s a massive low.  I think there will be many games this season where he bosses the midfield for us whilst in other games he can give us the option of playing him on the left, like when he played in our home game against Yeovil and scored that fantastic solo effort running with the ball from halfway and finishing nicely. It excites me that he has only been a full time professional since joining us in January from Solihull Moors. I think he is a player showing great potential already.

The other prospect I’m looking forward to seeing is Siriki Dembele, obviously there is not a great deal of evidence out there to back this up at the moment he’s young, he’s quick and looks like from what I’ve seen and heard he can beat a man something I feel we have lacked for a while  lets just hope there will be some quality end product.

I really believe if we sign an experienced striker and a solid left back we can at the very least make a push for the playoffs this season. We have a very experienced manager in place now in Russell Slade with a good coaching set up behind him and the club has bought a few exciting players with pace again something I think we have been lacking for a while.

I think along with us Mansfield, Luton and Carlisle.will be promoted I have already given my reasons why I think Grimsby will be promoted, as for Mansfield they have brought a lot of quantity but quality as well in to their squad, they also have a manager that knows how to get teams out of this league in Steve Evans.

Luton have been flirting  with promotion  now for a couple of years, they always seem to be at the right end of the table come the end of the season, so I fancy them to make that extra push to send them up this season.

Last year Carlisle started like a runaway train and looked unstoppable until they lost their striker Charlie Wyke in January and this really took the wind out of their sails. So if they show the same quality at the start of this season and keep a settled squad I think they will be up there.

The two teams I’m tipping to be relegated this season are Cheltenham and Newport. Cheltenham last year did not improve on their squad and got away with it. Again this season they don’t look like they have made enough improvements at this stage and if that stays the same I think it will come back to bite them this time around.

Newport have lost two key players this season in Lennell John-Lewis to Shrewsbury and their loanee Mitch Rose to  Grimsby this coupled with the poor resources they seem to have within the squad and of course that awful pitch in my reckoning make them a good bet to go down.

Will Sam Jones carry on where he left off?

Lincoln City by James Lee

 Alex Woodyard will be our best player, could of gone to a higher club in the close season but has now signed for an extra year

The best signing would now be last seasons Peterborough player of the year Michael Bostwick who apparently chose us over Blackburn.

Jordan Maguire Drew and Shane Long are two players to look out for

Former club captain Alan Power will be our biggest loss providing Raggett stays

Alex Woodyard or Sean Raggett are our hottest prospects.

I reckon we’ll fight for a play off place. Promotion and relegation is really too early to call, Newport to go down I reckon, Mansfield or Luton at the moment but its early days

 

They are back.

Luton Town by Emily Stone @Emilystone005

 1) James Collins

2) Alan McCormack 

3) Cameron mcgeehan 

4) 1st or 2nd

5) Luton, Coventry, Mansfield, Swindon 

6) Newport and Swindon 

 He’s achieved promotion from League 2 before but can McCormack do it again?

Mansfield Town by Chester Ashford

 Star player: Danny Rose

Best signing: Jacob Melis

Biggest Loss: Matt Green

Hot prospects: Omari Sterling-James

How do I think we’ll get on: Hopefully automatics, surely playoffs

Promotion: Mansfield, Lincoln, Luton

Relegation: Cheltenham, FGR

 Is Rose the man to get Mansfield promoted?

Morecambe by Jacob Swindlehurst @Jacob_MFC

 Firstly I think our star play will be Adam Campbell, we have seen what he is capable of and we know he has talent but he has not lived up to his full potential as of yet with regards to the teams he has been at. However, I feel with the right manger, our manger, he will really come good and we can get the most out of him. He definitely has the ability needed to be our star player.

Best signing I would say is either Vidane Oliver or Adam Campbell. Both with attributes that our team requires. Oliver we have just signed from York, where he helped them win the FA Vase with a goal in the final. The first half of the season he was on loan at Notts County so he has FL experience. And what I said about Adam Campbell is echoed again.

Ryan Edwards without a doubt is our biggest loss. A young, quality centre back who had really come into his own last season and was looking to be very promising but his contract was up and obviously interest came in from other clubs and he eventually has moved on with a step up to league 1 with Plymouth which obviously highlights just how good he was. We haven’t really been blessed with good centre backs in recent times so to lose him hurts that just bit more.

Luke Jordan, young player who has come up through the academy is our hot prespect. Has pace, strength and ability just needs more games. He got a few last season but this season he could really coke into his own.

I’m an optimist and I do think we have made some good signings. We just needed another quality centre half and a bit of luck and I could POSSIBLY see us sneak play offs, it all depends on how consistent we are because that’s always are problem never consistently play well through a full season, always in spells.

Coventry out right league winners, there to big to be struggling in this league. Mansfield made some good signings and as much as it pains me to say it, Steve Evans is a great manager, especially in this league.  3rd I’d say possibly Chesterfield. Play offs could be literally half the league but I’m going to say Exeter, they can only build on there success of last season.

Relegation for me, Crawley and Cheltenham neither of them have enough quality for me to stay up.

 

Ryan Edwards has moved a step up – could Morecambe?

Newport County by Andrew Channing

 Star player? Mickey Demetriou 

Best signing? Matty Dolan 

Biggest loss – honestly not got one

Hot prospects are Tom owen-evans and Lamar Reynolds 

This season I will happily take a boring mid table finish

Promotion Luton

Relegation Crawley

Star man: Demetriou

Notts County by Matthew Foster @littlefozzmatty

Star man: Milsom 

Biggest signing: Alexandra 

Hottest prospect: Jordan Richards 

Promotion: Notts County, Mansfield, Chesterfield, Lincoln

Relegation- Coventry and Forest Green

Rober Milson is County’s main man.

Port Vale by Rob Fielding of OneValeFan.co.uk @OneValeFan

 Star player: Nathan Smith

Best signing: Tom Pope

Biggest loss: Chris Eagles

Hottest prospect: Dan Turner

Season predictions: I think the club needs stability so finish top ten, promotion – Notts County, relegation no idea.

 He has been top scorer before, could Pope do it again?

Stevenage by Thomas Willett @Footiefanboy

Who will be your star player? Matt Gooden

Who is your best signing so far? Chris Whelpdale

Who is your biggest loss so far? Charlie Lee (released)

Any hot prospects to watch out for? Dan Newton

How do you think you will get on this season? Pushing for Promotion like last year.

Who do you tip for Promotion? Luton, Yeovil, Carlisle and Coventry.

Who do you tip for relegation? Lincoln and Newport.

 

New signing: Whelpdale

Swindon Town by Ben Nicholls @Pieman80

 Star player – Tough to judge at the minute seeing so little of the new players. I think Goddard will have a good season. You’ll be pushed to find a better keeper than Lawrence Vigouroux at this level. As for the newbies Amine Linganzi comes with a very good reputation

Best signing – I’ve been impressed with the caliber of player brought in so far. Without signing what you call a ‘marquee signing’ Most have experienced promotion out the division and have played at a higher level. The two I’m looking forward to the most are Harry Smith & Amine Linganzi.

Biggest Loss – Nath Thompson. Well respected among the dressing room the man was Swindon through and through. It’s a shame his Swindon career ended the way it did. He deserved a better send off.

Hot Prospect – Paul Mullin has looked very good pre season. He loves the run at defenders and shows a good touch.

Predictions: The season – The squad as it stands lacks creativity and depth to mount a serious challenge. However it’s not far off the next few weeks of the transfer window are vital to what we are going to achieve this season. If David Flictcroft buys well then there is no reason why we can’t challenge for top 3. We are a big club for this level and anything less than promotion would be considered a failure.

Going up – Swindon, Luton, Mansfield and Exeter play off winners

Going down – Cheltenham & Morecambe

 

Captain Thompson has left for Portmouth.

Wycombe Wanderers by Emily Isaac @emilyji-01

 Who will be your star player?- Adebayo Akinfenwa; scoring his goals! Anthony Stewart- very good defender, very strong! 

Who is your best signing so far?- Adam El-Abd. Strong centre half who has already (seems) to have created a good partnership with Max Muller. Worn the captains armband for a couple of games as well so shows he has leadership and experience.  

Who is your biggest loss so far?- Myles Weston; i thought he would do really well this season and push for a regular starting 11 place however left for personal reasons. 

Any hot prospects to watch out for?- Luke O’Nien, Anthony Stewart, Nick Freeman. 

How do you think you will get on this season?- Quite well if we have less injuries and good start so playoffs/ promotion.

Who do you tip for Promotion? Luton, Crewe, Coventry, Wycombe (playoffs💙) 

Who do you tip for relegation? Crawley/ Newport

 

Football League favourite – Akinfenwa

Yeovil Town by Paul Doble

 Otis Kahn is our star player.

Jake gray is our best signing.

Biggiest loss Matty Dolan to Newport or Kevin Dawson to Cheltenham. 

Hot prospect is Reece brown.

Think we’ll end up around 14th imo.. But we need a couple strikers because goals is are major problem the last few years.

Crawley and Morecambe for relegation.

Khan Otis make a big impact?

My prediction

I think three of the four relegated sides will be strong contenders this year with Swindon, Coventry and Chesterfield all in the mix for at least a Play Off Place. I also think the likes of Wycombe, Exeter and Carlisle could have a big
say having been in or around the Play Offs for the last couple of seasons.

I think Lincoln will do very well this season also, while I do not believe Forest Green will struggle.

Mansfield are obviously tipped to win the league but I am not sure they will – they should come close though.

I fear it could be a long season for Newport, Yeovil, Stevenage and Morecambe fans but there is always a dark horse – look at Accrington Stanley 2 seasons ago.

 

My Final League Prediction

 

1.      
Lincoln City

2.      
Swindon Town

3.      
Mansfield Town

4.      
Luton town

5.      
Coventry City

6.      
Carlisle United

7.      
Chesterfield

8.      
Exeter City

9.      
Wycombe Wanderers

10.  
Cambridge United

11.  
Grimsby Town

12.  
Notts County

13.  
Accrington Stanley

14.  
Port Vale

15.  
Forest Green

16.  
Barnet

17.  
Crewe Alexandra

18.  
Colchester United

19.  
Crawley

20.  
Cheltenham Town

21.  
Stevenage Borough

22.  
Yeovil Town

23.  
Morecambe

24.  
Newport County

 

How do you think your side will get on this season, let me know in the comments or reply to social media posts?

 

Good luck everbody.

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