TTU 2010/11 Season Preview: League 1 (Part One)

Posted by on Aug 4, 2010 in Uncategorized | One Comment

And so our preview of the Football League rolls on. League 1 is in the spotlight today, as 24 fans from across the length and breadth of the country cast light on their clubs’ preparations for the new term.

AFC Bournemouth

Headline of the Summer
Manager Eddie Howe signing a new contract.

Rhoys Wiggins (Norwich)
Harry Arter (Woking)
Marc Pugh (Hereford)
Michael Symes (Accrington)
Steve Lovell (Partick Thistle)
Stephen Purches (Leyton Orient)
Mitchell Nelson (Tooting & Mitcham)
Jeff Goulding (Cheltenham)
Alan Connell (Grimsby)
Scott Guyett
Sammy Igoe (Havant and Waterlooville)

Any major worries?
Having seen our kids turned over 4-0 by Tooting & Mitcham recently, I’d say there’s a worry that there aren’t enough bright prospects coming through (aside from Jayden Stockley, who’s hopefully the next Sam Vokes). Even so, for the first time in years we have decent strength in depth all over the pitch. I haven’t included Shaun Cooper or Marvin Bartley, both popular with the fans, in my predicted XI below, but you could slot both in at the expense of perhaps Bradbury or Garry, with no loss in overall quality. All that said, we only have four strikers if you count 16-year-old Stockley. He looks capable of being that fourth forward though.

Who owns your club?
A consortium comprised of chairman Eddie Mitchell, chief executive Neill Blake, operations director Adam Murry and directors Jeff Mostyn and Steve Sly. They seem to have done a good job of reducing the club’s debt so far. We rejected an attempted takeover from a Russian consortium recently.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-4-2: Jalal – Bradbury, Pearce, Garry, Wiggins – Feeney, Hollands, Robinson, Pugh – Pitman, Symes

Your prediction
Middle of the road (hopefully). A season of re-establishing ourselves at this, our rightful level.

Chris Lines, Narrow the Angle


Headline of the Summer
Nicky Forster returning to the Bees

Richard Lee (Watford)
Simon Royce (Gillingham)
Kirk Hudson (Aldershot)
Nicky Forster (Brighton)
Craig Woodman (Wycombe)
Michael Spillane (Norwich)
David McCracken (MK Dons)
Toumani Diagouraga (Peterboroguh)
Mark Phillips
Steven Kabba (Barnet)
Danny Foster (Wycombe)
Ben Strevens (Wycombe)
Nikki Bull (Wycombe)
Alan Bennett (Brentford)
Lewis Ferrell
Fraser Franks
James McCluskey

Any major worries?
Richard Lee has a huge task of replacing Arsenal’s future number one, Wojciech SzczÄ™sny , who easily saved the Bees 15 points last season.

Who owns your club?
It’s complicated. The Supporters’ Trust, Bees United (BU), owns more than 60 per cent of the club, but they fixed a deal with Matthew Benham, owner of Smartodds — a company which provides “football modelling services” — back in March which established £1m of investment a year for five years. Benham purchased a 35 per cent stake when the deal was confirmed, and in 2014 he will have the option of taking his shareholding up to 75 per cent by buying shares from the trust. Alternatively, BU have an option to repay his existing £4.5m loans to the club at the same time and keep control.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-4-2: Lee — Woodman, O’Connor, Legge, McCracken — Weston, Bean, Diagouraga, Spillane – Forster, MacDonald

Your prediction
Chasing the play-offs

Brian Smith, Brentford Official Site


Headline of the Summer
It has to be Gus Poyet and Mauricio Taricco signing new 4 year contracts. American Express’s sponsorship of the new stadium at Falmer is, financially speaking, also great news for the club. The whole situation with Falmer leaves me feeling very happy indeed.

Ins / Outs
Ashley Barnes (Plymouth)
Agustin Battipiedi (Comunicaciones)
Cristian Baz (Comunicaciones)
Matt Sparrow (Scunthorpe)
Gordon Greer (Swindon)
Michael Poke (Southampton)
Marcos Painter (Swansea)
Ià±igo Calderà³n (Alavà©s)
Radostin Kishishev
Dean Cox (Leyton Orient)
Jim McNulty (Scunthorpe, loan)
James Tunnicliffe (Bristol Rovers, loan)
Michel Kuipers (Crawley)
Andrew Crofts (Norwich)
Craig Davies (Chesterfield)
Liam Dickinson (Barnsley)
Jake Wright (Oxford)

Any major worries?
The lack of a prolific goal scorer. I’m not sure if Barnes or Murray will be able to score the 20+ goals next season needed to get into the play-offs. There is also a doubt over the quality of our first choice ‘keeper, Poke. Finally, the thought of losing to Plymouth worries me greatly.

Who owns your club?
The amazing Tony Bloom.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-5-1: Poke — Calderà³n, Elphick, El Abd, Painter – Sparrow, Navarro, Kishishev, Bennett, LuaLua — Barnes

Your prediction
Chasing the play-offs

Mark Holmes, aka ‘Roerover’, North Stand Chat

Bristol Rovers

Headline of the Summer
With Director of Football Lennie Lawrence having left in May by ‘mutual consent’, we now get to see what Paul Trollope can achieve on his own, and can finally apportion the blame accordingly!

Ins / Outs
Wayne Brown (Fulham)
Harry Pell (Charlton)
Gary Sawyer (Plymouth)
Will Hoskins (Watford)
James Tunnicliffe (Brighton, loan)
Mikkel Andersen (Reading, loan)
Steve Phillips (Shrewsbury)
Rhys Evans (Southend)
Steve Elliott (Cheltenham)
Aaron Lescott (Walsall)
Andy Williams (Yeovil)
Mark Wright (Shrewsbury, loan)
David Pipe (Released on account of his 38 month stay as a guest of Her Majesty after being charged guilty for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm)

Any major worries?
Goals are a concern if Hoskins doesn’t work out. The ground redevelopment remains as clear as mud. The thought of Mark Wright coming back if it doesn’t work out at Shrewsbury brings us out in a cold sweat.

Who owns your club?
The Dunford family have owned a large chunk since the mid-80s and Barry Bradshaw has been hanging around like a bad smell on and off for longer. Nick Higgs sold Cowlin Construction to Balfour Beattie for a big pile of cash before the recession struck and is now chairman. We know who owns us, it’s their competence and ability to deliver the goods on the reconstruction of the Memorial Ground that’s in question.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-3-3: Andersen — Sawyer, Tunnicliffe, Coles, Regan — Blizzard, Campbell, Lines — Kuffour, Hoskins, Hughes

We’ve not played 4-3-3 before but the manager seems keen on it so I guess that’ll be it. The strikers will swap positions to confuse defenders and, no doubt, their teammates and themselves.

Your prediction
Chasing the play-offs if we can find some goals, otherwise middle of the road.

Blackthorn Ender, View from the Blackthorn End

Carlisle United
Headline of the Summer
Probably the prolonged departure saga of Richard Keogh. Otherwise, it’s young centre back Tom Aldred being snatched by Watford after 4 first team appearances for 50p, 2 portions of cod and chips and some paper towels.

Finally, striker Gary Madine’s ongoing court saga. On trial for ABH on a fan in a local pub in the Spring, he’s due to stand in Autumn.

Ins / Outs
Sean McDaid (Doncaster)
Frankie Simek (Sheff Weds)
Craig Curran (Tranmere)
Jason Price (Millwall)
James Berrett (Huddersfield)
Francois Zoko (KV Oostende)
Tony Caig (Workington)
James Chester (Manchester United, loan)
Richard Keogh (Coventry)
Tom Aldred (Watford)
David Raven (Shrewsbury)
Scott Dobie (St. Johnstone)
Joe Anyinsah
Evan Horwood
Michael Burns
Gavin Rothery
Manny Richardson

Any major worries?
Just hoping that the defence improves this season, as that’s where the main problem was last year. Elsewhere, how we’ll get 80 odd goals and whether our two new, talented, but injury prone full backs will stay fit.

Who owns your club?
CUFC Holdings owns 93% of the club. The 134 shares in that are split as Andrew Jenkins (50), United Trust (34), John Nixon (25) and Steven Pattison (25). The other 7 per cent of the club is owned by minor shareholders.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-4-2: Collin — Simek, McDaid, Harte, Murphy — Hurst, Robson, Thirlwell, Taiwo — Curran, Madine

Your prediction
Middle of the road. Chasing the play-offs if we start well.

Tim Graham, Editor, CUFC Online and John McGee

Charlton Athletic
Headline of the Summer
The sale of the best players from last season.

Gary Doherty (Norwich)
Alan McCormack (Southend)
Johnnie Jackson (Notts County)
Lloyd Sam (Leeds)
Nicky Bailey (Middlesbrough)
Deon Burton (Gabala)
Frazer Richardson (Southampton)
Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool)
Darren Randolph (Motherwell)
Izale McLeod

Any major worries?
Lack of money to build and sustain a promotion challenge

Who owns your club?
Several week ago it was announced that chairman Richard Murray had taken full control of the club.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-4-2: Elliott, Solly, Doherty, Dailly, Jackson – Wagstaff, Racon, Semedo, McCormack – Sodje, Reid

Your prediction
Chasing the play-offs

Steve Matthews


Headline of the Summer
Aidy Boothroyd out, John Ward in

Brian Wilson (Bristol City)
Andy Bond (Barrow)
Ben Coker (Histon)
Lloyd James (Southampton)
David Fox (Norwich)
David Prutton (Swindon)
Scott Vernon (Aberdeen)
Clive Platt (Coventry)
Philip Ifil
Russell Malton
Matt Lockwood
Joel Thomas

Any major worries?
That goalkeeper Ben Williams and left back Marc Tierney leave

Who owns your club?
Robbie Cowling, who some people may recall after his public spat with former manager Paul Lambert

Likely starting XI on August 7th
Williams: Wilson, Okuonghae, Reid, Tierney — Bond, Izzet Wordsworth, Hackney — Vincent, Odejayi

Your prediction
Chasing the play-offs

Ryan Croke,

Dagenham and Redbridge
Headline of the Summer
Summer? We haven’t had one really! After the euphoria of our play-off win, the manager inevitably had work to do on the squad. At times last year we had the 11 on the pitch and probably only 2 on the bench who could change the game. Injuries played a part but we’ve quietly set about increasing the depth of the squad. There aren’t any big-name signings but that isn’t our style. I guess our headline is being here!

Gavin Tomlin (Yeovil). So far he’s the biggest hit of the lot with 5 goals in pre-season, and looks certain to start.
Damian Scannell (Southend). A few weeks behind the others due to injury problems so we’ve only seen glimpses so far. Hoping he can make a big impact.
Stuart Lewis (Gillingham) Seems to be our sort of player. A committed, hard-working midfielder.
Gareth Gwillim (Histon) I’ve always been impressed with him in the Conference. It’ll be interesting to see how he does at this level.
Alex Osborn (Grays). 16-year-old striker tipped for a bright future.
Danny Green (Billericay). Not to be confused with our other Danny Green, this 19-year-old plays on the left.
Luke Wilkinson (Portsmouth)
Duran Reynolds (Southend)
Oluwafemi Ilesanmi (Ashford Town)
Anwar Uddin (Barnet). Very sorry to see our club captain leave. A brilliant leader and a really good defender.
Wes Thomas (Cheltenham). Never really got a look-in with us.
Mark Nwokeji (Wimbledon). Very quick but suffered badly with injury. Should get a new lease of life with the Dons.
Hakeem Araba
Alex Bentley
Danny Spiller (Gillingham)

Any major worries?
We’ve suffered a few knocks in pre-season so I’m hoping that none of those are too serious, we don’t want to lose first-teamers before we’ve even kicked off. I suppose the main worry will be the fitness of midfielder Stuart Thurgood. He still hasn’t returned after a bad injury midway through last season and if he regains the form he was in, he’s a massive player for us.

Who owns your club?
We were a members club originally but because of Football League rules we had to become a limited company when we won the Conference. The shares are held by the people who were previously on the committee so the club is in good hands.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
Our line-up has been the same for most of the first-team friendlies. 4-4-2: Roberts – Ogogo, Doe, Arber, McCrory — Green, D, Vincelot, Lewis, Gain – Benson, Tomlin.

We Only Need 9 Men

Exeter City
Headline of the Summer
The new pitch is the star arrival at St James Park this summer. It’s costing £150,000 and, what with the fans owning the club, we’re going to pay for it.

Ins / Outs
Daniel Nardiello (Blackpool)
John O’Flynn (Barnet)
Billy Jones (Crewe)
Jake Thomson (Southampton)
Joe Heath (Lincoln)
Artur Krysiak (Burton)
Alex Russell
Barry Corr (Southend)
Neil Saunders
Craig McAllister (Crawley)
Manny Panther (Aldershot)
Joe Burnell (Bath)

Any major worries?
Only one worry worth mentioning, sadly. Striker Adam Stansfield was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April this year — he was our top scorer at the time. He’s a local lad, he runs his heart our every time he plays for City and the thought of his football career, let alone his life, being in jeopardy is just horrendous. I’d take relegation now if only we could know that Adam will be okay.

Who owns your club?
We do. The fans, through the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, have been the majority shareholder in Exeter City since relegation to the Conference in 2003. We saved it from bankruptcy, we repaid the debt, we helped the club get promoted two years running and stay in League 1 without any outside investment … and now we have to finish redeveloping the ground without any handouts from anyone. The Away End shames us and we’re on the case, but it’ll be a while yet.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
3-5-2: Jones — Duffy, Taylor, Jones — Golbourne, Secombe, Dunne, Noble, Harley — Logan, Nardiello

Fan’s prediction
Mid-table luxury. By most calculations we’ve only had three ‘nothing to play for’ games out of the past 362 league, non-league and play-off fixtures. Some relaxing time would be great.

Alan Crockford, Exeter Exiles

Headline of the Summer
Ongoing rumours that the club is being sold by the current owners.

Ins / Outs
We had Roy O’Donovan on loan last season and his goals kept us up, but the Irishman was snapped up by Coventry after his release from Sunderland. Among a long list of outgoing players, we released two promising midfield players on free transfers, Johnny Rowell to Charleroi and Alan Power to Rushden. Elsewhere, Ben Clark’s gone to Gateshead, and Ritchie Jones, one of our best players, left for Oldham on a Bosman.

A lot of the back room staff have walked or been sacked including the first team coach, youth development officer, fitness coach and physio.

We haven’t signed a single player, and the owners appear to have gone missing.

Any major worries?
Absolutely. We are in limbo: no money is being spent whilst the club on the market.

Who owns your club?
Funny you should ask as we have no idea. As it stands it’s Aberdeen oil company IOR, but it’s an open secret they sold the club last week. We just haven’t been told who the new owners are yet.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
Impossible to say. If rumours are true then we have been bought by an oil company from the Far East, Alan Shearer will be the new manager, and we will be spending £5 million on players. First signings could be Evan Horwood from Carlisle and Jon Macken from Barnsley. If they aren’t true, then I might get a game myself.

Your prediction
As things stand we are certainties for relegation, having lost half our staff after finishing 5th bottom last term. The 100/1 on us to win the league offered by William Hill looks miserly.

Chip Fireball, The Poolie Bunker


Headline of the Summer
Gary Naysmith turns down the Premiership to sign for Hudds to reignite Scotland career. And I’m serious.

Ins / Outs
Scott Arfield (Falkirk)
Joey Gudjonsson (Burnley)
Gary Naysmith (Sheffield United)
Ian Bennett (Sheffield United)
Lee Croft (Derby County, loan)
Jamie McCombe (Bristol City)
Graham Carey (Celtic, loan)
Joe Garner (Nottingham Forest, loan)
Dean Heffernan (Melbourne Heart)
Phil Jevons (Morecambe)
Robbie Williams
Simon Eastwood (Oxford United)
Lewis Nightingale
Tom Denton (Wakefield)
Joe Skarz (Bury)
Andy Butler
Michael Collins (Scunthorpe United)
James Berrett (Carlisle United)
James Spencer (Morecambe, loan)
Leigh Franks (Oxford United, loan)
Jack Hunt (Chesterfield, loan)
Lionel Ainsworth (Shrewsbury)

Any major worries?
Not really. Some slight ones, maybe: (1) the large turnover of playing staff may mean the side have to gel together again; (2) our squad is perhaps a bit lightweight in midfield and defence should we suffer a load of injuries; and (3) does Lee Clark have the tactical nous when it comes to playing the better sides in this division and has he learnt from our inability to impose ourselves on the top 6/7 in the division?

Who owns your club?
Dean Hoyle – best chairman there ever was and ever will be.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-4-2: Smithies — Peltier, Naysmith, McCombe, Clarke, P — Pilkington, Arfield, Gudjonsson, Roberts – Rhodes/Robinson, Garner

Your prediction
Automatic / Chasing the play-offs

Holy Roller Novakaine, DATM

Leyton Orient

Headline of the Summer
Russell Slade puts his stamp on the team

Ins / Outs
George Porter (Cray Wanderers)
Elliot Omozusi (Fulham)
Alex Revell (Southend)
Lee Butcher (Tottenham)
Terrell Forbes (Yeovil)
Aaron Brown (Aldershot)
Dean Cox (Brighton)
Stephen Dawson (Bury)
Matt Spring (Charlton)
Glenn Morris (Southend)
Stephen Purches (Bournemouth)
Tamika Mkandawire (Millwall)
Andrew Cave-Brown
Sean Thornton
Loick Pires (Welling)
Harry Baker
James Scowcroft
Luke Ashworth (Rotherham)
Jason Demetriou (AEK Larnaca)

Any major worries?
The league is so even this season that the difference between top half and relegation will be so small that any poor run of form will mean being dragged into the relegation battle.

Who owns your club?
Barry Hearn, who also owns PDC darts and is Chairman of the body that runs Snooker.

Likely starting XI on August 7th
4-4-2: Jones – Omozusi, Forbes, Chorley, Cestor – Smith, Spring, Dawson, Cox – Revell, McGleish

Your prediction
Middle of the Road, hopefully top half

Scott Dyball,

See Part Two of the TTU 2010/11 League 1 Season Preview here.

is co-editor of The Two Unfortunates. He's 31, supports Plymouth Argyle and takes a particular interest in the fortunes of those Football League clubs west of Bristol. He tweets @lloydlangman.

1 Comment

  1. Lanterne Rouge
    August 4, 2010

    I think all of us would echo Alan Crockford's thoughts on Adam Stansfield.


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