Story by Rob Atkinson.
As the new season is soon to be upon us, we can look forward to the twists and turns that each league will throw at us, whether it’s moments of sheer joy or misery, for all of you reading let’s hope it is the former! Last season, throughout the majority of it, there was an intriguing tussle to see who would get the all important promotion spots and who would fall down into the Conference. Those clubs who will be leaving the league for tougher tasks in League One are Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town and Crewe Alexandra and those that will be heading down are Macclesfield Town and Hereford United. Into this league we welcome Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City and Rochdale from League One and Fleetwood Town and York City from the Conference. Considering these additions to the league who are going to be the lucky few to succeed and gain promotion at the end of the 2012/13 season?
Despite losing their goal machine, Adam le Fondre, at the beginning of the season, Rotherham managed to achieve 10th spot and only 5 points off of the playoffs. This was despite the up and down season that the club had. This coming season, they will be moving to the New York Stadium in the centre of town. The club will want to make the ground a fortress from the very start, so that they are a tricky away game to any visitors. With the introduction of Steve Evans from Crawley Town in April, they have found a very capable manager, who showed his credentials throughout his time with Crawley gaining them promotion into League Two and then finally getting them to challenge for the promotion positions before he left for the new tasks set at Rotherham. Since joining the Millers, he has already signed 9 players, with the most recent being Morecambe’s left back – Lawrie Wilson. With the financial backing, there will be no doubt that more signings will come. I have a feeling that Millers fans will have a lot to cheer about this year as they chase a promotion place.
After securing promotion into the Football League from the Conference with an impressive 103 points amassed and having had their best run in the FA Cup to date, they are now looking to gain back to back promotions. With the sale of Jamie Vardy at £1 million to Leicester City, Fleetwood will look into recruiting more players for the task ahead, with the likes of Damien Johnson of Huddersfield, Dean Howell of Crawley and Steven Gillespie of Cheltenham having already signed. With strong financial backing behind them, they are looking a team that could well upset a few of the bigger names in the league and challenge for the title race.
Of course you can’t overlook those clubs that came unstuck at the final hurdle in the playoffs and there is no doubt that Southend, Torquay United and Cheltenham will want to do one better than last year and achieve promotion. Both Oxford United and Gillingham were unfortunate that they narrowly missed out on the playoffs, so they will look to improve this season. Finally whatever happens this season, you can guarantee that it will entertain throughout with many twists and turns along the way.