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

The Future Isn't Ours to Give Away


Benny fails to learn from last season`s woeful predictions for League One and has another go at predicting the new League Two season, essentially flailing around in the dark like blind man`s bluff.


FLEETWOOD TOWN
Style: Fast and powerful with plenty of higher league experience under manager Micky Mellon.
Stadium: Highbury Avenue is compact and modest with a spectacular new stand.
Reputation: The Cod Army won`t want to be seen as the next Crawley Town.
Rivals: Accrington Stanley and Morecambe will fight for that mantle this season.
Star player: Striker Jon Parkin.
Final position: 1st

ROTHERHAM UNITED
Style: With plenty of money at their disposal they should be expansive with several high profile signings during the summer.
Stadium: The New York Stadium is now open. It`s certainly no Millmoor or Don Valley.
Reputation: Under the guidance of owner Tony Stewart and manager Steve Evans they aren`t overload with charm.
Rivals: Games against Chesterfield should be interesting this season.
Star player: Midfielder Kári Árnason.
Final position: 2nd

SOUTHEND UNITED
Style: World-beaters one minute, also-rans the next. Paul Sturrock will want to end their inconsistency.
Stadium: Tight and atmospheric, Roots Hall is a homage to a by-gone era, even with all the seats.
Reputation: The good side of Essex with the bonus of a day at the seaside.
Rivals: Colchester United.
Star player: Striker Neil Harris.
Final position: 3rd

BRISTOL ROVERS
Style: Manager Mark McGhee will certainly have them organised, if not spectacular.
Stadium: The Memorial Stadium and its rutted surface is soon to be replaced.
Reputation: Perennial under-achievers often battling against internal problems.
Rivals: Bristol City.
Star player: Striker David Clarkson.
Final position: 4th

ALDERSHOT TOWN
Style: Manager Dean Holdsworth has put together an impressive squad full of pace and power.
Stadium: The Recreation Ground is almost three-quarters terracing and situated in the town centre. It is a joy to behold.
Reputation: Lower Football League battlers who rose again from the ashes.
Rivals: Reading.
Star player: Winger Alex Rodman.
Final position: 5th

CHESTERFIELD
Style: Under John Sheridan they have seen goals fly in at both ends. It is entertaining at least
Stadium: A new all-seater stadium that doesn`t possess a fraction of the character of Saltergate.
Reputation: The days of the Crooked Spire are now all-but over.
Rivals: Traditionally it`s been Mansfield Town. Rotherham United this season.
Star player: Striker Marc Richards.
Final position: 6th

DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE
Style: Manager John Still may rely on set-pieces but they can play some decent football at times.
Stadium: Chairboys will get the chance to sit in the new seated away end at Victoria Road at the end of September.
Reputation: The pub team from Essex that`s playing in the Football League.
Rivals: They will want to beat Barnet this season.
Star player: Defender Michael Spillane.
Final position: 7th

OXFORD UNITED
Style: Inconsistent under manager Chris Wilder who is drinking in the last-chance saloon this season.
Stadium: Three-sided, wind-swept, character-free concrete carbuncle on the arse-end of the City.
Reputation: Plucky non-leaguers whose fans still live in an 80s time-warp.
Rivals: Swindon Town.
Star player: Midfielder Peter Leven.
Final position: 8th

CHELTENHAM TOWN
Style: They aren`t the easiest on the eye under manager Mark Yates, but it gets results.
Stadium: A mishmash of old and new stands on the edge of the picturesque Cotswolds.
Reputation: It`s all a bit posh for football, what.
Rivals: Gloucester City.
Star player: Midfielder Marlon Pack.
Final position: 9th

GILLINGHAM
Style: Under new boss Martin Allen it sure as hell won`t be pretty.
Stadium: You will still be paying through the nose to sit in a temporary seated yet open away end at the Priestfield Stadium. It`s appalling.
Reputation: It`s taken a battering with ex-striker Mark McCammon winning his case against the club for unfair racial discrimination last month.
Rivals: Swindon Town.
Star player: Midfielder Jack Payne.
Final position: 10th

EXETER CITY
Style: They still tried to play football the right way under manager Paul Tisdale in spite of dropping out of League One with Wycombe.
Stadium: St. James Park boasts the finest standing terrace in the Football League. Well worth a visit.
Reputation: A well-managed fan-owned club who have earned their recent success.
Rivals: Plymouth Argyle.
Star player: Midfielder Liam Sercombe.
Final position: 11th

BRADFORD CITY
Style: Ex-Wanderer Luke Oliver swept the end of season awards last time around. It can`t have been pretty.
Stadium: Valley Parade is the biggest in the division by far. It is Premier League standard.
Reputation: 'Aye 'up lad 'ave you seen me whippet?'
Rivals: Huddersfield Town or Leeds United.
Star player: Striker Nahki Wells.
Final position: 12th

NORTHAMPTON TOWN
Style: Manager Aidy Boothroyd`s reputation precedes him. The ball will spend a lot of time in the air.
Stadium: Sixfields is possibly the most hideous recently-built ground in England, with brown seats.
Reputation: Perennial basement dwellers.
Rivals: Peterborough United.
Star player: Right-back John Johnson.
Final position: 13th

MORECAMBE
Style: Under rookie boss Jim Bentley they have found a neat balance between youth and experience. Not to be underestimated.
Stadium: The Globe Arena might be a stupid name but it is ideal for the Shrimps and it comes complete with terracing.
Reputation: Northern non-leaguers come good. It is a heart-warming story.
Rivals: Once upon a time it was Lancaster City. Fleetwood Town this season perhaps?
Star player: Goalkeeper Barry Roche.
Final position: 14th

WYCOMBE WANDERERS
Style: Goals galore under boss Gary Waddock, sadly most of them went into the wrong net for Wycombe fans last season.
Stadium: Adams Park is no longer under threat. It has served us well in its relatively short lifetime and brought us some fantastic memories.
Reputation: The ultimate yo-yo team. Chances are that will end this season.
Rivals: Colchester United.
Star player: Goalkeeper Nikki Bull.
Final position: 15th

ROCHDALE
Style: Manager John Coleman was unable to repeat his heroics at Accrington Stanley as his new side finished bottom of League One.
Stadium: The regeneration of Spotland is largely uninspired with three sides of generic seating.
Reputation: Famously ended their record run without promotion in 2010 and could be set for another lengthy spell in the basement division.
Rivals: Bury. They will want to beat Accrington Stanley this season.
Star player: Midfielder Jason Kennedy.
Final position: 16th

TORQUAY UNITED
Style: Manager Martin Ling did wonders to pick up the baton left by Buckle but has lost more influential players over the summer.
Stadium: Bristow`s bench now means Plainmoor is complete and it suits the Gulls needs perfectly.
Reputation: Small club out on a limb on the English Riviera which consistently punches above its weight.
Rivals: Exeter City and to a slightly lesser extent Plymouth Argyle.
Star player: Midfielder Lee Mansell.
Final position: 17th

PORT VALE
Style: They are in a bit of a mess with Keith Ryder`s takeover collapsing and will need all of manager Micky Adams experience.
Stadium: Vale Park was meant to be the Wembley of the North. It still hasn`t been finished!
Reputation: John Rudge, Giant-killers, Robbie Williams and Urns.
Rivals: Stoke City.
Star player: Midfielder Doug Loft.
Final position: 18th

YORK CITY
Style: They had enough power to see off Luton Town under boss Gary Mills. The Minstermen could surprise a few in League Two this season.
Stadium: Bootham Crescent has changed little over the years and is a traditional ground in the centre of a beautiful City.
Reputation: Recovering from their recent fall of grace. Keith Houchen.
Rivals: Traditionally it`s been Hull City.
Star player: Winger Matty Blair.
Final position: 19th

AFC WIMBLEDON
Style: They struggled to come to terms with life in the Football League but Terry Brown did just enough to keep them up.
Stadium: Kingsmeadow is a modest ground that really wasn`t fit for purpose when it was built for Kingstonian in 1989.
Reputation: The original fan owned club with six promotions in nine seasons and now back where they belong.
Rivals: None. Historically it was Crystal Palace.
Star player: Leading goalscorer Jack Midson.
Final position: 20th

BARNET
Style: The Bees are something of an unknown quantity under rookie boss Mark Robson.
Stadium: Underhill and its sloping pitch are in their last season before the club move to their training ground at the Hive.
Reputation: Last-day survivalists who are pushing their luck after three successive escapes.
Rivals: Once upon a time it was Enfield. It may be Dagenham and Redbridge this season.
Star player: Midfielder Mark Byrne.
Final position: 21st

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE
Style: They did just enough to maintain their Football League status under manager Carl Fletcher last season.
Stadium: Home Park has three sides of plastic seats and a traditional fourth side which is on its last legs.
Reputation: Suffering from a fall of grace, green in both colour and character.
Rivals: Exeter City. Torquay United not so much.
Star player: Captain Darren Purse.
Final position: 22nd

ACCRINGTON STANLEY
Style: Undergoing something of a revolution under new boss Paul Cook, who has a reputation for playing passing football.
Stadium: The Crown Ground is certainly quaint. Whether it`s up to the required standard is debatable.
Reputation: Milk. Ian Rush. High pitched scouse kids.
Rivals: It is likely to be Rochdale this season.
Star player: Captain Dean Winnard.
Final position: 23rd

BURTON ALBION
Style: It`s been a bit of struggle for the Brewers since promotion to the Football League in 2009 and that`s unlikely to change under new Gary Rowett.
Stadium: The Pirelli Stadium is one of the better newly-built stadiums and well worth a visit with its creative design and catering.
Reputation: Beer!
Rivals: Tamworth historically. Currently Port Vale.
Star player: : Winger Jacques Maghoma.
Final position: 24th





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The Journalist

Writer: Benny Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 15 2012

Time: 11:10AM

 

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