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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

The best way to predict the future is to create it




HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

Style: Powerful and pacey with precise passing

Stadium: A modern design classic with curvy roofs

Reputation: Former greats under Herbert Chapman now known as the place where Last of the Summer Wine is filmed. Extremely Northern.

Rivals: Bradford City and Leeds United.

Star player: Midfielder Gary Roberts

Final position: 1st



PRESTON NORTH END

Style: They were short on style as they slumped to relegation last season under Phil Brown

Stadium: Another modern re-build with a unique design

Reputation: The first invincibles. Not so much now. They do enjoy being reminded of 1994.

Rivals: Blackpool

Star player: Central defender Clark Carlisle

Final position: 2nd



LEYTON ORIENT

Style: Manager Russell Slade has turned them into one of the more progressive sides in the division

Stadium: A beautiful ground ruined by owner Barry Hearn selling off the corners to build flats like some sort of monstrous snooker table

Reputation: Good, honest, hardworking salt-of-the-earth Eastenders

Rivals: Southend United

Star player: Midfielder Stephen Dawson

Final position: 3rd



SCUNTHORPE UNITED

Style: The passing football played under previous boss Nigel Adkins has been superceded by a more pragmatic approach by successor Alan Knill

Stadium: The first of the new breed of off-the-shelf Lego builds

Reputation: As mundane as it gets, much like the town itself

Rivals: Grimsby Town

Star player: Captain Cliff Byrne

Final position: 4th



CHESTERFIELD

Style: Tore League Two to shreds last season, including ourselves! They had it in abundance under manager John Sheridan

Stadium: I called it a depressing new, off-the-shelf, sponsored Lego set last year. A little harshly in hindsight.

Reputation: It used to be all about the Crooked Spire but that could be changing

Rivals: Mansfield Town but they`ll enjoy facing up with both Sheffield clubs this year.

Star player: Striker Jack Lester

Final position: 5th



EXETER CITY

Style: Suave, particularly under the guidance of manager Paul Tisdale

Stadium: A mix of old and new and with perhaps the greatest standing terrace in the Football League

Reputation: Cultivating a name as THE model to follow for supporter-owned clubs

Rivals: Plymouth Argyle

Star player: Midfielder Liam Sercombe

Final position: 6th



AFC BOURNEMOUTH

Style: Deceptively powerful combined with youthful poise

Stadium: A soulless all-seater affair that makes you reminisce about the old Dean Court

Reputation: Remarkable over-achievers in spite of consistent financial disasters and points deductions

Rivals: Southampton

Star player: Striker Danny Ings

Final position: 7th



SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

Style: Last season they were blighted by inconsistency. Manager Gary Megson`s sides aren`t renowned for their passing style

Stadium: A huge behemoth at this level but forever associated with its tragic history

Reputation: Fallen giants with the weight of history on their shoulders

Rivals: Erm…Sheffield United?

Star player: Striker Marc Richards

Final position: 8th



SHEFFIELD UNITED

Style: A catastrophic 2010/11 season included a seemingly stubborn refusal to dare win a game

Stadium: Once famously used for both football and cricket. Now completely modernised over the last twenty years or so

Reputation: Premier League pretenders now fallen on hard times

Rivals: They don`t like Sheffield Wednesday

Star player: Striker Jordan Slew

Final position: 9th



CHARLTON ATHLETIC

Style: Trying to play the right way under boss Chris Powell

Stadium: Premier League standard although the away end rivals Kenilworth Road for its` generous leg room

Reputation: Family friendly club with its fair share of geeks and trainspotters

Rivals: Crystal Palace

Star player: Defender Michael Morrison

Final position: 10th



BRENTFORD

Style: It remains to be seen with Uwe Rösler bravely appointed new Bees boss

Stadium: One of the few still with terracing, shame the away end is so shallow. Take a box with you.

Reputation: Have spent the last decade yo-yoing between the bottom two divisions. Continue to supply us with some of our best players.

Rivals: Fulham and Queens Park Rangers

Star player: Winger Niall McGinn

Final position: 11th



CARLISLE UNITED

Style: Understated but the Cumbrians are a tough nut to crack in the image of manager Greg Abbott.

Stadium: Another traditional old ground with a new stand built oddly out-of-line with the pitch

Reputation: It has changed in recent years but remain defined by their geographical isolation. Hardcore Chairboys who make this trip might even get a guest ticket as a reward!

Rivals: They will enjoy renewing their acquaintances with Preston North End this season

Star player: Midfielder James Berrett

Final position: 12th



FRANCHISE

Final position: 13th



HARTLEPOOL UNITED

Style: Boasted a fine home record last season where they were difficult to beat

Stadium: Likely to be fuller this season than it has been for some time after a hugely successful season ticket offer. Be warned though, away fans will be making up some of the difference!

Reputation: Self-confessed monkey hangers and the favourite team of Countdown`s Jeff Stelling.

Rivals: Darlington

Star player: Midfielder Andy Monkhouse

Final position: 14th



NOTTS COUNTY

Style: Agricultural under Paul Ince.

Stadium: Another stadium re-built since Hillsborough. Nottingham Rugby usually ensure the pitch is gubbed by Guy Fawkes Night.

Reputation: The oldest English club in the league that was almost bankrupted with the help of their supporters.

Rivals: Nottingham Forest

Star player: Captain Mike Edwards leads by example

Final position: 15th



TRANMERE ROVERS

Style: Capable of some enterprising stuff under the guidance of physio Les Parry

Stadium: Prenton Park is yet another old ground condemned to an all-seater almost devoid of atmosphere

Reputation: Living in the shadows of their Merseyside neighbours

Rivals: They are none too keen on Bolton Wanderers

Star player: Watch out for striker Adam McGurk

Final position: 16th



WALSALL

Style: Another side that goes about its business quietly under manager Dean Smith.

Stadium: Subject to a controversial tussle over ownership that threatens the Saddlers existence. Also: pillars.

Reputation: Black Country also-rans who often punch above their weight

Rivals: Aside from the Birmingham clubs, none in League One

Star player: Young striker Will Gregg is making a reputation for himself

Final position: 17th



COLCHESTER UNITED

Style: With hoofball Lieutenant John Ward taking over from hoofball General Aidy Bothroyd the Essex Apes will endure plenty of neck ache.

Stadium: A soul-destroying all-seater monstrosity built next to the A12. It`s almost as if it is itself begging to hitch the next ride out of dodge.

Reputation: Of course we`re biased here in Vital towers. Think News of the World.

Rivals: Wycombe Wanderers

Star player: Defender Magnus Okuonghae is the kind of man-beast your legs were designed to run away from

Final position: 18th



WYCOMBE WANDERERS

Style: As gutsy as they come under the Wadfather and his carefully assembled squad of lovers and fighters

Stadium: Modest, semi-modern and inconveniently located but a home full of so many fond memories

Reputation: "We`ll always be non-league" but we`ve had some good managers in our time

Rivals: Colchester United

Star player: Goalkeeper Nikki Bull

Final position: 19th



OLDHAM ATHLETIC

Style: Inconsistent but perhaps that`s not too surprising in Paul Dickov`s first season as boss

Stadium: Lost one side with a promise of a new one that`s starting to get old. And cold.

Reputation: Still hankering after the glory days of the earlier nineties, Frankie Bunn and plastic pitches.

Rivals: The Latics will be looking forward to facing both Bury and Rochdale this year

Star player: Winger Chris Taylor

Final position: 20th



STEVENAGE

Style: Borough provide a horrific glimpse into the psyche of boss Graham Westley. A Charles Hughes wet-dream and everyone else`s nightmare

Stadium: Modest but with much to offer the noisy home fans. Travellers are condemned to a soul-less all-seater stand.

Reputation: Plucky underdogs done good since the mid-90s now being quickly replaced by Westley`s anti-football

Rivals: Barnet or Luton Town

Star player: Ex-Wanderer John Mousinho was as good as any last season

Final position: 21st



BURY

Style: Richie Barker has carried on the attacking endeavour began by predecessor Alan Knill

Stadium: Another traditional old ground treated to an all-seater make-under. Usually two-thirds empty.

Reputation: One time F.A. Cup winners and Football League stalwarts.

Rivals: They will be chomping at the bit to face Oldham Athletic and Rochdale.

Star player: Striker Ryan Lowe

Final position: 22nd



ROCHDALE

Style: Good to watch under the now-departed Keith Hill. Successor Steve Eyre has some act to follow.

Stadium: Modest upgrade with three sides now all-seater and a shallow terrace for home fans. Away fans get the whole of one side. Behind which is the best chippy in the division.

Reputation: Generally considered the smallest of Greater Manchester`s footballing sides.

Rivals: Bury and Oldham Athletic

Star player: Much sought-after striker Ashley Grimes

Final position: 23rd



YEOVIL TOWN

Style: A 21st century Southampton. Consistently avoiding relegation against the odds much to manager Terry Skiverton`s credit

Stadium: Ideal for the Glovers with seats on either side and terracing at each end. This season we travel on a Tuesday night so it`s unlikely to be open for us.

Reputation: F.A. Cup giant-killers with the (other) sloping pitch. The club with the greatest number of failed Football League election attempts. Fond of both the beast and the family.

Rivals: Historically Weymouth. This season it`ll be Exeter City.

Star player: : Defender Luke Ayling

Final position: 24th




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 2 2011

Time: 11:49AM

 

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