Thursday, 23 August 2012

Fans’ season preview 2012/13 – part four

Tom – @Lange88
24th in League One – “Never seen worse”
Honestly, after last season we didn't have any key players! All our ‘key’ players left the summer beforehand along with our manager! We had a massive clearout and we've brought in a few good signings though. Ryan Edwards is a highly rated defender from Blackburn and looks excellent so far. Tutte in the middle will be a great player some day.
After last season I'd be happy simply seeing good football and passionate players. That's what I've seen so far so I'm encouraged. A play-off push will be a bonus but one I think we're well capable of.
Bradford away is one of my favourite away days, as is Wycombe, so I'd say those two. I'm looking forward to going to York too
Rotherham United
David – @davidrawson
10th in League Two – “Early promise unfulfilled”
There's been a huge flow of players arriving and leaving over the summer, but most of the players who left in the summer were players that the new manager decided he didn't want. Lewis Grabban, last year's top scorer, was one player it looks like we wanted to keep, but he was keen to move back South, so Bournemouth have the benefit of his enigmatic, but occasional brilliant, talent. Personally, I think we might regret releasing Ryan Cresswell, who joined Southend: if he can stay clear of injury, he's potentially a very good defender, who weighs in with his fair share of goals, too.
I'm not sure that we've got one player who'll net the twenty-odd goals that Grabban did, but there seem to be more goals in the squad as a whole. The central midfield players look particularly impressive, especially Icelandic international Kari Arnason, who, in pre-season, has looked as complete a midfield player as I've seen for many years in the fourth division. Some of the interplay in midfield and the movement of the side has been really good.
Expectations in general are pretty high. Our new ground, the New York Stadium, is terrific and is even better in comparison to the sterile Don Valley Stadium, and that alone has fuelled optimism. The general standard of the players arriving is pretty good and the pre-season performances have been impressive. Promotion, if not expected, is at least a realistic ambition.
Personally, I wonder if we've quite got the efficiency in front of goal to tip the tight games in our favour and there's a question about whether there's enough cover in central defence, if suspensions or injuries really bite. Overall, I think we should be one of the four or five sides in the mix for the automatic promotion places and a top three finish is probably achievable.
I think the games against the more local teams will be the stand out fixtures, especially because I think both Bradford and Chesterfield are likely to be right up there. The Bradford fixtures have a little extra spice, given the mass brawl at Valley Parade, when our manager's former team, Crawley, turned up there last season. Disappointingly, our seaside trip to Fleetwood is on a Tuesday in November.
In truth, though, it's the home fixtures that excite. After being exiled in a half-full athletics stadium for four years, the New York Stadium, where you're right on top of the action and right in the middle of town, is a thrilling experience. We're justifiably proud of it and, for this season at least, it'll probably be more of a highlight than any of the away trips coming up.
Southend United
Gareth – @Bucket_Spade_fc
4th in League Two – “Very heart breaking”
We haven’t lost any key players in my eyes yet others would disagree with the possibility of losing Bilel. The one summer signing who stood above the rest must be Rotherham captain Cresswell (future Southend captain).
It’ll be another season where on paper we look strong and above 90% of the other teams in League Two, but I can see it being no different to last season so I will say play off spot.
Well the game I was looking forward to was The Wombles, but that's on a Tuesday night now. So I would have to say the only three grounds I haven’t been to in League Two which are Rochdale, Fleetwood and York.
Torquay United
5th in League Two –
Wycombe Wanderers
Tracy – @Bluebellewwfc
21st in League One – “Bugger not again...”
The only player I was sad to lose was Ben Strevens, but it was the right decision for both parties. We’ve got some decent players in such as Matt Spring, Gary Doherty and Sam Wood and I expect them all to do well. Got three other new players Richard Logan, Dennis Oli and Lee Angol. If by some miracle we keep the ginger genius, Stuart Beavon he'll do very well I'm sure as will some of the players who came through our Youth system (Anthony Stewart, Charles Dunne, Jesse Kewley-Graham and Josh Scowen).
Expectations aren't that high considering we were recently taken over by our Supporters Trust as money is tight and the focus is very much on stabilising the club. Upper mid table flirting with the playoffs will do me fine.
I'm most looking forward to going to Dagenham in September to meet up with a couple of very good Twitter mates.
York City
Tom – @ycfc_sisso
4th in Blue Square Premier – “Wembley, trophies, promotion”
We lost James Meradith to Bradford City which was a blow as he’s a talented left back and actionable midfielder; however this loss will open up a place for other defenders like Danny Blanchett. Lee Bullock came back to us as an experienced player. We’ve gained a few strikers and they’ve been playing well in the pre-season matches. Jonathan Smith also came back to York and brings experience with him, John McReady, a midfielder from Darlington is a player to look out for next season, as is Michael Coulson (winger/striker). 
My expectations of next season are good – I personally think the team is strong enough to challenge for a play-off place.
The team I am looking most forward to playing is Oxford United, as we lost to them the last time we got to a play-off final. Fleetwood Town is another team I am looking forward to as they were promoted with us last season and win against them in the Football League would be great. Doncaster in the Capital One Cup is a third, largely because they were the team to send us down to the Conference eight years ago. To play Doncaster in our first competitive game as a League Two club since then seems fitting.

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