Thursday, 28 July 2011

League 2 season preview - part three

I thought I’d do something a little different and after completing the Twitter92 a month or so ago, I thought it’d be apt to see what my fellow League 2 supporters thought about their aspirations and expectations for their teams in the coming season. Here is part three (of four):

Matt Rowe – Twitter
“I think we will be closer to mid table than last term, we have cleared out the deadwood and replaced them with players with a better pedigree such as Harry Pell. I would be happy with a stable mid table finish and our chairman has already echoed this.
2 players to look out for are Stuart Fleetwood and Harry Pell. Stuart Fleetwood thrived last season next to big targetman Manset and since we have sold him to Reading we have brought in a similar player in Delroy Facey who i believe will help Fleetwood score more than his 20 overall goals last season. We had Harry Pell on loan from Bristol rovers last season for a couple of months and he changed our midfield. He adds physical presence with his height in the middle of the park (6ft 2) and also has the ability to pick out a decent pass or take on the odd player. He was Bristol Rovers young player of the season but chose to join us last month on a 2 year contract.
Games to look forward are the following away trips: Shrewsbury, Cheltenham, Plymouth and also Southend as it's the first game of the season!
I am quietly confident about our chances of having a decent season. Since we sacked Simon Davey last season, who left us bottom with 5pts from 10 games, we had a change of fortune and if the season had restarted under Jamie Pitman we would've finished 12th (from the 36 remaining games). Hopefully we will see progress on the Blackfriars End where the temporary seating currently is and start to see signs of construction of the new stand”.
Ian Stewart – Twitter
“Every season since the great escape under Paul Ince, various bookies and media outlets have had Macclesfield as the prime candidates for relegation. Every season we've proven this prediction wrong, it's not been easy particularly with our resources and certain circumstances. The best we can hope for is a mid-table finish, although with the right team attitude and good run of form, there's no reason to rule out a push for the playoffs.
The loss of two key players, Tyrone Barnett and Hamza Bencherif has not helped our prospects, but I feel there's great pace and potential in the players bought in the close season by Simmo. Like his predecessor, the late Keith Alexander. Simmo [Gary Simpson] has a knack for plucking talent from the non-league,Tyrone Barnett joined us from Hednesford Town last season. We hope that Ben Tomlinson, signed from Worksop Town, can follow on from where Tyrone left off. Arnaud Mendy is an interesting purchase as well, a big strong midfielder released by Derby County. He had a loan spell at Tranmere Rovers last season, and I've heard positive accounts from Tranmere supporters regarding his performances in midfield.
The one game that stands out is Swindon Town, it'll be a Friday night spectacle, and with the appointment of Paolo di Canio there has to be fireworks. Also looking forward to Bristol Rovers, Northampton Town and Southend United; as well as the newly promoted sides which are two juicy prospects.
We have a positive young squad that Simmo has built up, and some firm experienced league players like Nat Brown and Matt Hamshaw in our ranks. Though the only real concern is the lack of an experienced striker”.
Jack Steer – Twitter
“I am confident that we will do much better this season than last, which is necessary to avoid the drop! There is a much more positive attitude around the club this season under Jim Bentley, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we sneak a play-off place. Conservatively expecting mid-table, but confident that we can do much better.
New signings Izak Reid, Lewi Alessandra and Gary McDonald are all contributing to the renewed optimism around the club and will hopefully do very well. Add to those our consistent good performers Barry Roche and Andy Parrish. I think Andy Fleming will have a great season too.
Optimistically looking forward to the Accrington derby games in hope that we break the football league curse of being unable to beat them – they won’t have the benefit of Jimmy Ryan’s bi-annual deflected goal this year! Also looking forward to seeing Tony Roberts of the Daggers again.
Everything is looking very positive at the moment, the changes that Jim Bentley is making are all positive and are very much fan-focused. Everyone connected with the football club is right behind him and the players would run through brick walls for him”.
Kris Holland – Twitter
“The chairman wants us to finish in the top 3, Northampton fans generally anticipate the play-offs...and me? Well i reckon we'll wind up around 9th or 10th. Reaching the top 7 is not necessarily beyond the realm of possibility but after coming within a whisker of relegation last time out, expectations have got to be reined in.
19 year-old Michael Jacobs is one to watch. The kid is absolute dynamite and was essentially the kingpin of our attacking chances last season, scoring 8 goals in league and cup; some of which were absolute corkers, while setting up more than double that. He was also voted player of the season for 2010/11. Not bad for your first season as a pro! He's destined for greater things than a drawn out career at Northampton Town so my advice is to enjoy his rare talent at your local ground while you still can.
I’m looking forward to AFC Wimbledon away. I'm one of those who is totally caught up in the romance of their rise up the leagues and I wouldn't begrudge a loss against them, so that should make for a special evening at Kingsmeadow. Also looking forward to taking on Crawley Town. It's not unfair to say they've bought their favourites tag, so it'll interesting to see what they're really made of.
For as long as I can remember Northampton's summer transfer dealings have always been built from the bottom up. By which I mean, bringing in defenders over strikers. But for this pre-season, the opposite is true The chairman has dug very deep into his pockets to bring success and League One football back to the town, with additions such as Jake Robinson, Arron Davies and returning favourite Ade Akinfenwa. With this in mind, and so very few defenders on the books, I can't wait to see what sort of formation Gary Johnson has in mind for August 6th”.
Joe O’Callaghan – TwitterBlog
I can really see us challenging this season. Play offs definitely but hopefully higher.
Players to look out for would be Peter Leven a new signing who everyone is raving about; as well as Tom Craddock up front and Jake Wright in defence.
Looking forward to the 21st August, where we have the scum (Swindon Town) 3rd or 4th game in”.
Dave Weeks – Twitter
“I think we’ll do quite well – we look like we are signing quite a few good players and with Reid as our manager we should get a few premiership loans in. As an Argyle fan anywhere above the drop zone will do us fine after two relegations in a row. I feel we can push for play-offs and reckon we will finish between 6-10th.
Players to look out for would be Luke Daley - I watched him pre-season and he was energetic and loved to take players on. If teams want to stop him running down the wing and putting crosses in they will have to put two players on him. Also Stephane Zubar, Quality defender whom strikers will find it hard getting passed. Surprised he re-signed when he could've joined PNE, proves that there is still a bit of loyalty out there.
Looking forward to quite a few games: Swindon and Bristol rovers – those two because they produce goals. Torquay’s a nice close game; AFC Wimbledon, I chose this one because after everything that has happened to them I'm happy they are back in the football league and looking forward to playing them”.

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