League Two Preview 2011/12: Southend United

The Final day of the League Two Previews features the final six teams looked at by myself, @greenwichgull and @maxihobbs. My first contribution comes in the form of Paul Sturrock’s Southend United.

Recap of last season

A frustrating campaign saw Southend flirt with the playoffs but never really excel enough to really make the step up. Finished in thirteenth place which would have been disappointing and the Shrimpers will be hoping for a much better return this time.

Personnel in

Neil Harris’ signing from Millwall on a free transfer came as a real surprise and he could be the man to take the Shrimpers to the next level.

American Jemal Johnson arrives from Lokomotiv Sofia, also on a free, and bolsters the forward line even more.

Ryan Leonard (Plymouth, free)

Liam Dickinson (Unattached)

JP Kalala (Bristol Rovers, free)

Personnel out

Five players were released by Southend this summer with Rhys Evans, Johnny Herd, Adam Bouzid, Miguel Comminges and Louis Soares all shown the door.

Strengths

Southend were the best side at keeping the ball in League Two last season with an average of 52% possession.

Weaknesses

Consistency was the key downfall last season and home form has to improve if United are to make progress on mid table obscurity.

Key man

Neil Harris – Very impressive signing at League Two level, Harris can find the net on a regular basis given the chance and is he gets the service then he will be a good shout for the golden boot.

One to watch

Kane Ferdinand – 18 Year old midfielder who is already attracting the likes of Peterborough United and West Ham, Ferdinand is currently a member of the Republic of Ireland Under 19s squad.

Outlook

Two impressive signings in Jamel Johnson and Neil Harris should excite Southend fans and if they can turn Roots Hall into more of a fortress then there’s no reason why they can’t be in the running for the playoffs.

Predictions Ben: They’ve undoubtedly improved, but then so have others – mid-table again methinks.
Danny: Just missing out on the top seven.
Maxi: Last season re-run, not enough for the top 7

All of our League Two Previews:

AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl

Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt

Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg

Barnet: http://bit.ly/pROnxq

Bradford City: http://bit.ly/mSLoFU

Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD

Burton Albion: http://bit.ly/rknJOQ

Cheltenham Town: http://bit.ly/ng6urV

Crawley Town: http://bit.ly/nJyS0B

Crewe Alexandra: http://bit.ly/pyTBTE

Dagenham and Redbridge: http://bit.ly/nMv5Un

Hereford United: http://bit.ly/nCxyFI

Gillingham: http://bit.ly/qfrw7v

Macclesfield Town: http://bit.ly/nX1xrp

Morecambe: http://bit.ly/plqkeF

Northampton Town: http://bit.ly/nlehBF

Oxford United: http://bit.ly/ncfJzh

Plymouth Argyle: http://bit.ly/nGEZCY

Port Vale: http://bit.ly/qcIilt

Rotherham United: http://bit.ly/ovben9

Shrewsbury Town: http://bit.ly/oqSHUx

Swindon Town: http://bit.ly/oAhOKf

Southend United: http://bit.ly/pmeVAQ

Torquay United: http://bit.ly/pbr9m8

League Two Preview 2011/12: Swindon Town

The League Two Preview rounded off this weekend and today I look at Swindon Town, a club who have undergone major changes this summer. For more previews from myself, @maxihobbs and @greenwichgull, see the links at the bottom of this page!

Recap of last season

After losing in the Playoff Final in 2010, the Robins suffered from the loss of key players that summer. A dreadful run that saw them win just once between the turn of the year and the start of April saw them inevitably relegated. The installation of Paulo Di Canio as the new boss in the summer means that Town fans are in for an entertaining season!

Personnel in

Di Canio has dipped into his contacts to bring in Italien defender Alberto Comazzi from Spezia on a free transfer.

Meanwhile, a more well known name around the lower leagues is Alan McCormack who signed from Charlton this week. The midfielder turned out 24 times for the Addicks in League One last season and brings bags of experience to the County Ground.

Raffael De Vitta (Livingston, free)

Mattia Lanzano (US Gavorrana, free)

Alan Connell (Grimsby, Undisclosed)

Mehdi Kerrouche (Unattached)

Personnel out

David Prutton was always likely to leave for higher ground following relegation and the talented midfielder did indeed make a move by signing for Sheffield Wednesday.

Jonathon Douglas is another to leave a hole in the middle of the park as he leavs on a free transfer back to League One at Brentford.

Michael Rose (Tranmere, free)
Scott Cuthbert (Orient, free)
Alan Sheehan (Notts County, free)
Joe Devera (Barnet, free)
Elliot Benyon (Wycombe, loan)
Jon-Paul McGovern (Carlisle, free)

Strengths

Di Canio’s magnetism and contacts book could prove vital during the transfer windows.

Weaknesses

The manager is new to League Two and could take time to understand what’s needed to win promotion and to compete at this level.

Key man

Matt Ritchie – Finally found a permanent home at the County Ground last January after various loans from Portsmouth. Likely to provide creativity and the odd goal to the Swindon cause.

One to watch

Billy Bodin – Young left midfielder or striker, Bodin will be looking to push on this season and try to live up to the standards set by father Paul during his successful time with the Robins.

Outlook

It’s going to be a newsworthy season whatever happens at the County Ground and the Di Canio factor could work either way. Coping with the loss of David Prutton and Jonathon Douglas will be tough but I still expect them to be in at least a Playoff place come May.

Predictions Ben: The acclimatisation period for the new manager and players will scupper an automatic promotion bid, but play-offs should be the minimum target.
Danny: Could take time to gel so in and around the playoffs at best.
Maxi: This could go absolutely anywhere. Top half is as accurate as I could predict.

All of our League Two Previews:

AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl

Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt

Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg

Barnet: http://bit.ly/pROnxq

Bradford City: http://bit.ly/mSLoFU

Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD

Burton Albion: http://bit.ly/rknJOQ

Cheltenham Town: http://bit.ly/ng6urV

Crawley Town: http://bit.ly/nJyS0B

Crewe Alexandra: http://bit.ly/pyTBTE

Dagenham and Redbridge: http://bit.ly/nMv5Un

Hereford United: http://bit.ly/nCxyFI

Gillingham: http://bit.ly/qfrw7v

Macclesfield Town: http://bit.ly/nX1xrp

Morecambe: http://bit.ly/plqkeF

Northampton Town: http://bit.ly/nlehBF

Oxford United: http://bit.ly/ncfJzh

Plymouth Argyle: http://bit.ly/nGEZCY

Port Vale: http://bit.ly/qcIilt

Rotherham United: http://bit.ly/ovben9

Shrewsbury Town: http://bit.ly/oqSHUx

Swindon Town: http://bit.ly/oAhOKf

Southend United: http://bit.ly/pmeVAQ

Torquay United: http://bit.ly/pbr9m8

League Two Preview 2011/12: Rotherham United

The combined League Two Season Preview with @maxihobbs and @greenwichgull rolls on as I take a look at the chances of Rotherham United, who will be looking to be challenging for promotion once more despite slipping out of a playoff place last season.

More Season Previews can be found via the links at the foot of this post!

Recap of last season

An early season stint in the top three had the Millers fans dreaming of League One. But a second half of a season to forget saw them finish outside of the top seven, during which they replaced Ronnie Moore with Andy Scott as manager.

Personnel in

Striker Gareth Evans is a decent acquisition on a free transfer from League Two rivals Bradford City. Evans was part of a financial reshape at Valley Parade and that’s worked in the favour of the Millers who quickly got their man.

Ben Pringle (Derby, free)

Troy Brown (Ipswich, free)

Lewis Grabban (Brentford, free)

Conrad Logan (Leicester, loan)

Luke Foster (Stevenage, free)

Personnel out

Striker Ryan Taylor has left Rotherham to join Championship side Bristol City on a three year deal. The 23-Year-Old scored 23 times for the Millers over a stop-start career with the club.

Meanwhile, Nicky Law has made the jump to the SPL by signing for Motherwell on a free.

Nick Fenton (released)

Stephen Brogan (released)

Jamie Green (released)

Luke Ashworth (released)

Kevin Ellison (Morecambe, free)

Grant Darley (released)

Strengths

Rotherham had the seconnd most shots per game last season in League Two and scored three times or more in twelve matches which was the joint third best in the entire Football League.

Weaknesses

The Don Valley stadium, an arena in comparison to Brighton’s old Withdean home in terms of atmosphere. Thankfully for the Millers this should be the final season spent at the athletics ground.

Key man

Adam Le Fondre – 50 goals in 92 games tells its own story and its remarkable that the striker is still at the club. If they manage to keep hold of him, another promotion challenge is on the cards.

One to watch

Chris Holroyd – If Le Fondre is to depart at some point, new signing Holroyd could be the ready made replacement. Scored six times in twelve games for Stevenage whilst on loan from Brighton last season before a short stint at Bury so knows the division and has the pedigree to be successful.

Outlook

A side that are always around and about the top places at this level, Rotherham should be there again and I think a playoff place should be theirs this time around.

Predictions Ben:If they can hang on to ALF, top 7 should be the expectation, although I can’t see them troubling the automatic promotion slots.Danny: At least a playoff place, if not pushing top three.Maxi: Top 7.
Other League Two Previews (so far)

AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl

Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt

Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg

Barnet: http://bit.ly/pROnxq

Bradford City: http://bit.ly/mSLoFU

Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD

Burton Albion: http://bit.ly/rknJOQ

Cheltenham Town: http://bit.ly/ng6urV

Crawley Town: http://bit.ly/nJyS0B

Crewe Alexandra: http://bit.ly/pyTBTE

Dagenham and Redbridge: http://bit.ly/nMv5Un

Hereford United: http://bit.ly/nCxyFI

Gillingham: http://bit.ly/qfrw7v

Macclesfield Town: http://bit.ly/nX1xrp

Morecambe: http://bit.ly/plqkeF

Northampton Town: http://bit.ly/nlehBF

Plymouth Argyle: http://bit.ly/nGEZCY

Rotherham United: http://bit.ly/ovben9

League Two Season Preview 2011/12: Northampton Town

The third day of the combined League Two Season Preview brought to you by @maxihobbs, @greenwichgull and myself brings you six more teams, one of which is the Cobblers!  I apologise for any harm this preview does to our season in terms of a kiss of death prediction.

More links to our other previews can be found at the foot of the page.

Recap of last season

Frustrating, disappointing and, finally, tense. After beating Liverpool at Anfield in the Carling Cup on penalties the Cobblers thought that a poor start to the league season would be over but a run of six defeats in October had them in real trouble. A brief resurgence through November and December was halted by six draws on the bounce in early 2010 and cost Ian Sampson his job. Gary Johnson came in and couldn’t stop the rot, with Town falling towards the drop zone. His first win in charge didn’t come until the penultimate game of the season but when it did arrive it sealed their Football League status.

Personnel in

The return of big Bayo Akinfenwa is the big news from Sixfields this summer after the iconic front man re-signed for Town after just one year at Gillingham.

Arron Davies is a shrewd signing for the Cobblers at this level as he follows Gary Johnson from Peterborough to Sixfields. The midfielder has creativity in abundance and could be the creative spark for the front me.

Paul Turnbull should provide some much needed steel to midfield after deciding to leave Stockport County following their relegation to the Conference.

Byron Webster (Doncaster, free)

Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi (Peterborough, free)

Jake Robinson (Shrewsbury, free)

Ben Tozer (Newcastle, free)

Freddy Hall (Unattached)

Nick McKoy (Unattached)

Lewis Young (Burton, free)

Sam Walker (Chelsea, loan)

Ashley Corker (Unattached)

Marin Pozgain (Unattached)

Lumbardh Salihu (Unattached)

Personnel out

Leon McKenzie left the club despite an excellent goals to games ratio last season. Ultimately his fitness wasn’t up to playing week in week out and Gary Johnson decided not to renew the striker’s contract.

Abdul Osman (released)

Paul Rodgers (released)

Courtney Herbert (released)

Alex Konstantinou (released)

Marcus Hall (released)

Seb Harris (released)

Francis Laurent (released)

Dean Beckwith (released)

Strengths

The Cobblers converted a goal in every 6.5 shots last season but they will and will be hoping for more of the same from a new strike force that include Akinfenwa, Jake Robinson and Shaun Harrad.

Weaknesses

Despite the above stat, Town also recorded the fourth fewest shots per game last season with an average of nine. Nobody in the division took fewer points from matches in which they scored first than the Cobblers.

A shaky defence in pre-season has also led to one or two early nerves from Cobblers fans.

Key man

Adebayo Akinfenwa – The big man returned to Sixfields this summer after a year with Gilligham and could be key to any success. A mammoth of a striker, his sheer presence is unnerving for the sternest of defences and his goal scoring record at this level should end any doubts about another relegation dog fight.

One to watch

Michael Jacobs – The youngster burst onto the scene in the pre-season of 2010 and went on to become last season’s Player of the Year in his first fulll campaign. A tricky left winger, Jacobs has attracted the attention of teams from higher divisions and will be tough to keep hold of.

Outlook

There’s real anticipation around Sixfields about the coming season with some impressive summer signings that have included Akinfenwa, Jake Robinson and former Forest man Arron Davies. They will surely not be dragged into a second successive relegation battle and should be looking at a place in the top seven come next May.

Predictions Ben: Like Bradford, perhaps too many personnel changes to hit the ground running – a strong finish falling just short of the playoffs.
Danny: Playoffs have to be the aim for the Cobblers.
Maxi: A definite improvement on last seasons shambles but not enough for the top 7.

Other League Two Previews (so far)

AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl

Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt

Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg

Barnet: http://bit.ly/pROnxq

Bradford City: http://bit.ly/mSLoFU

Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD

Burton Albion: http://bit.ly/rknJOQ

Cheltenham Town: http://bit.ly/ng6urV

Crawley Town: http://bit.ly/nJyS0B

Crewe Alexandra: http://bit.ly/pyTBTE

Dagenham and Redbridge: http://bit.ly/nMv5Un

Hereford United: http://bit.ly/nCxyFI

Gillingham: http://bit.ly/qfrw7v

Macclesfield Town: http://bit.ly/nX1xrp

Morecambe: http://bit.ly/plqkeF

Northampton Town: http://bit.ly/nlehBF

Plymouth Argyle: http://bit.ly/nGEZCY

Rotherham United: http://bit.ly/ovben9


League Two Season Preview 2011/12: Macclesfield Town

Macclesfield Town are the next in line for a preview with another potentially tricky season in store for the Silkman.

Links for the other teams previewed so far by myself, @maxihobbs and @greenwichgull are at the foot of the page…

Recap of last season

Tragedy has hit Macclesfield in each of the last two seasons with the sad passing of Keith Alexander in 2010 and of midfielder Richard Butcher in January of this year. Dealing with these great losses to the club puts their creditable 15th place last season in an even better light. The 2011/12 season will be their 13th consecutive season in League Two, making them the division’s longest serving team.

Personnel in

Waide Fairhurst drops down two divisions from Doncaster Rovers to sign for Macclesfield after a number of loan spells away from the Keepmoat Stadium in recent years.

Jon Bateson (Accrington, free)

Ben Tomlinson (Worksop, Undisclosed)

Personnel out

Izak Reid left the club on a free transfer this summer with League Two rivals Morecambe quickly snapping the midfielder up on a two year deal.

Another major loss is that of Hamza Bencherif with the Algerian signing for Notts County at the end of his deal at Moss Rose.

Tyrone Bennett has also left after joining newcomers and big spenders Crawley Town on an undisclosed fee.

Paul Bolland (Mansfield, free)

Matt Lowe (released)

Ricky Sappleton (released)

Jason Beardsley (released)

Strengths

Team spirit is always needed in abundance at Moss Rose and never more so this season.

Weaknesses

Finances will again be a problem for Macc who year on year strive for survival first and foremost. The loss of Hamza Bencherif could also be costly after the striker joined Notts County.

Bencherif a big loss and Barnett, Reid also not replaced – could well be going down!

Key man

Waide Fairhurst – After a number of loan spells from Donny in the last two years, Fairhurst has finally found a permanent home and the Silkmen faithful will be relying on that equating to goals. Could be a shrewd acquisition.

One to watch

Ben Tomlinson – An unknown quantity to League Two, Tomlinson arrives from Worksop Town where he netted 29 times last season.

Outlook

Gary Simpson has a real job on his hands to steer his side away from the relegation battle once again but I fear that this could be a season to far for plucky Macc.

Predictions Ben: I really hope I’m wrong, but it looks like the Silkmen will struggle to stay in the league this season. Relegation is a real danger.
Danny: Too much improvement elsewhere plus impressive promoted sides could mean the drop for poor Macc.
Maxi: If the new signings don’t pay off, another season of struggle for the Silkmen.
League Two Previews (so far!)
AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl
Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt
Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg
Bradford City: http://bit.ly/mSLoFU
Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD
Burton Albion: http://bit.ly/rknJOQ
Cheltenham Town: http://bit.ly/ng6urV
Crawley Town: http://bit.ly/nJyS0B
Crewe Alexandra: http://bit.ly/pyTBTE
Dagenham and Redbridge: http://bit.ly/nMv5Un

League Two Season Preview 2011/12: Dagenham and Redbridge

The combined League Two Preview rolls on as I take a look at Dagenham and Redbridge. The Daggers suffered relegation from League One last season and they now look for a repeat of two seasons ago when they were elevated via the playoffs.

Links for the other teams previewed so far by myself, @maxihobbs and @greenwichgull are at the foot of the page…

Dag & Red (DB)

Last season: 21st in League 1

Recap of last season

Relegated on the last day of the League 1 season following a 5-0 defeat to Peterborough, the Daggers will be looking for a quick return to League One.

Personnel in

Winger Medy Elito is the only major signing at the time of writing with the former Colchester man returning to Dagenhem after a loan spell with the club last season.

Personnel out

Danny Green’s departure will be the toughest to make up for with the winger moving to Charlton for an Undisclosed fee.

Romain Vincelot is another moving back up the leagues after sealing a move to Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion.

Meanwhile, Charlie Allen has joined up with Dad Martin at Notts County after leaving the Daggers on a free transfer.

Phil Ifil (released)

Bas Savage (released)

Graeme Montgomery (released)

Tommy Tejan-Sie (released)

Strengths

John Still, proven manager at lower league level. Loves the club and has the fire in him to challenge again.

Weaknesses

Danny Green’s departure will be the biggest loss to the Daggers and replacing his goals and creativity from midfield will be a big problem after he helped them to promotion two years ago with fourteen goals in this division.

Key man

Jon Nurse – With ten goals to his name in League One last season, Nurse has the potential to worry defences at this level with his pace and finishing.

One to watch

Scott Doe – Defender who has attracted interest from Crystal Palace amongst others during the summer and was named Player Of The Year in the League Two promotion campaign of 2010.

Outlook

The Daggers could struggle to match their playoff winning campaign from last time they appeared in League Two and could just miss out on the top seven this time.

Predictions Ben: This is probably the Daggers’ level – top half looks likely, but not enough for the play-offs this season.
Danny: A season of readjusting, top half finish.
Maxi: I think the Daggers might struggle. Lower mid table.
League Two Previews (so far!)
AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl
Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt
Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg
Bradford City: http://bit.ly/mSLoFU
Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD
Burton Albion: http://bit.ly/rknJOQ
Cheltenham Town: http://bit.ly/ng6urV
Crawley Town: http://bit.ly/nJyS0B
Crewe Alexandra: http://bit.ly/pyTBTE
Macclesfield Town: http://bit.ly/nX1xrp

League Two Season Preview 2011/12: Burton Albion

Together with Maxi Hobbs (http://www.maxihobbs.com/blog/) and Ben Mayhew (http://greenwichgull.wordpress.com/) we are bringing you  a full League Two Preview this week, starting today and running up until Sunday when we plan to release a fully predicted League Table. Here, I look at Burton Albion who suffered from the big freeze last season and will be hoping for a more evenly spaced campaign this time around.

Recap of last season

A bizarre season for the Brewers, with a spate of postponements seeing them play only 4 games from November to February leaving them constantly behind in the games played column and effectively ruining their season. For a long time it seemed they’d be potential relegation candidates as they struggled to keep up with two games a week but a late run steered them clear.

Personnel in

Winger Cleveland Taylor increases the attacking options for the Brewers after signing from SPL side St. Johnstone.

Derby born Chris Palmer rejected the offer of a new contract at Gillingham to sign on a free transfer.

Personnel out

Winger Lewis Young, who was with the Brewers at the end of last season was released but immediately joined up with League Two rivals Northampton Town.

Richard Walker (released)

Richard Jackson (released)

Keith Gilroy (released)

Garyn Preen (released)

Strengths

Home games were key to Albion’s survival last season, with 68.6% of their points coming from games at the Pirelli Stadium.

Weaknesses

The shots to goals ratio will have to improve after it took an average of nine shots to produce a goal last term. Inconsistency issues will also have to be addressed.

Key man

Aaron Webster – A club legend in the making, Webster has made over five hundred appearances for Albion after coming through the youth team ranks and graduating to the first team in 1998. An ever present last season, his experience and versatility is key to any Brewers success.

One to watch

Cleveland Taylor – A summer signing from St Johnstone, Taylor made 21 appearances in the SPL last season and jumps straight into the right wing position vacated by the released Lewis Young. A previous loan spell at the Pirelli saw Taylor score four times and after a season in Scotland, the 27-Year-Old is coming into the peak of his career.

Outlook

Paul Peschisolido will be desperate to avoid another relegation battle and will be hoping for none of the shocking weather that hit their mid season fixtures last November and December. I can see some improvement coming but not enough to mount a serious challenge.

 Predictions  Ben: It’s hard to pick a side to go down, but Burton have a few key gaps that could put them in real trouble this season
Danny: Mid-table the best I can see for Albion.
Maxi: A season of struggle for Burton could see a return to Non League

MORE LEAGUE TWO PREVIEWS:
AFC Wimbledon: http://bit.ly/nNEGfl
Accrington Stanley: http://bit.ly/rex3dt
Aldershot Town: http://bit.ly/pRYATg
Bristol Rovers: http://bit.ly/ncn3LD
COMING TOMORROW…
We look at Bradford, Cheltenham, Crawley, Crewe, Dagenham and Redbridge, Hereford and Macclesfield!

League Two Preview on the way!

Stay tuned this week for a combined League Two preview between myself and two of the web’s very best football bloggers. I’ve joined forces with Ben Mayhew of the excellent Greenwich Gull blog and Cheltenham Town enthusiast Maxi Hobbs of vast blogging experience on his personal site to bring you an in depth collection of previews looking at every team from League Two ahead of the coming season. Before August 6th’s big kick off you will see every single team analysed, every transfer identified and finally a predicted league table based on all of our predictions.

So stick around as the League Two Preview Blogs kick off this Wednesday, 27th July on all three blogs!

Carling Cup draw details for Thursday…

The Carling Cup draw, to take place this Thursday, will see the Cobblers drawn as an Unseeded team in the Southern Section of the draw once again. After last season’s antics in the competition it’ll be intriguing to see who we get and the likes of West Ham United, Cardiff City and Peterborough United could await. AFC Wimbledon and Crawley Town will have to play a preliminary game against each other in order to reach the first round due to Birmingham’s involvement in the Europa League.

The seeds and sections are listed below:

Northern Section – Seeds

1.Barnsley
2.Blackpool
3.Burnley
4.Carlisle United
5.Coventry City
6.Derby County
7.Doncaster Rovers
8.Huddersfield Town
9.Hull City
10.Leeds United
11.Leicester City
12.Middlesbrough
13.Nottingham Forest
14.Preston North End
15.Rochdale
16.Scunthorpe United
17.Sheffield United

Northern Section – Unseeded

1.Accrington Stanley
2.Bradford City
3.Burton Albion
4.Bury
5.Chesterfield
6.Crewe Alexandra
7.Hartlepool United
8.Macclesfield Town
9.Morecambe
10.Notts County
11.Oldham Athletic
12.Port Vale
13.Rotherham United
14.Sheffield Wednesday
15.Shrewsbury Town
16.Tranmere Rovers
17.Walsall

Southern Section – Seeds

1.AFC Bournemouth
2.Brentford
3.Brighton & Hove Albion
4.Bristol City
5.Cardiff City
6.Colchester United
7.Crystal Palace
8.Exeter City
9.Ipswich Town
10.Leyton Orient
11.Millwall
12.Milton Keynes Dons
13.Peterborough United
14.Portsmouth
15.Reading
16.Southampton
17.Watford
18.West Ham United

Southern Section – Unseeded

1.Aldershot Town
2.Barnet
3.Bristol Rovers
4.Charlton Athletic
5.Cheltenham Town
6.Crawley Town/AFC Wimbledon
7.Dagenham & Redbridge
8.Gillingham
9.Hereford United
10.Northampton Town
11.Oxford United
12.Plymouth Argyle
13.Southend United
14.Stevenage
15.Swindon Town
16.Torquay United
17.Wycombe Wanderers
18.Yeovil Town

Big week coming up!

It’s the start of the planning for next season this week as the most anticipated day of the summer is just around the corner. On Friday, the Cobblers will find out the route of the season as the Football League fixtures are announced. With old friends Bristol Rovers, Swindon and Plymouth coming down and the welcome addition of AFC Wimbledon coming the other way it’s set to be another exciting season in League Two and from Friday morning we can all start planning for the 2011/12 campaign.

Before that, on Thursday morning, we will find out who our opponents will be for the first round of the Carling Cup. After an astonishing campaign in the competition last season it’s hard to see us doing as well this time but you never know and our first hurdle will be announced just twenty four hours before the fixture list.

With more transfer rumours and happenings added to that it promises to be a terrific week so stay tuned!