Story by Aaron Bliss
League Two is the place where dreams are born. Dreams may be conceived and developed in the lower echelons of the football pyramid, but League Two is where they are thrown kicking and screaming into the real world of professional association football.
Ask any true grassroots fan with the sport coursing through their veins where they would rather be. League One? Nah, that’s the division where those former greats complete their falls from grace. Just ask Leeds, Manchester City or either of the Sheffield clubs’ fans. If the Premier League is the theatre basked in limelight, then League Two would be the shady alleyway strip club. Those who plummet to its seedy depths may term it the road to perdition, or the cost of penury, but those who hammer hard enough from the sewer of non-league football to finally crash through that manhole cover are gasping their first breaths of fresh air on this new adventure. This is precisely how Fleetwood Town and York City fans will be feeling in lieu of opening day.
This league can be akin to quicksand for the likes of Rochdale, who, after thirty-six consecutive seasons finally won promotion, only to plunge back into the division just two seasons later, while it can prove a constant grind for the likes of Torquay United, who struggled to maintain their football league status for the best part of the last two decades, before succumbing to relegation in 2007, though they have since scaled back to the Football League’s lowest recesses.
Of course it suffers from a lack of attention and income from television and gate receipts, meaning a dearth of talent, which exacerbates the lack of appeal: a vicious cycle. Despite these flaws, many would argue there is no division more traditional nor romantic. And they would be right.
For this is the League where dreams are truly born.