We travel around the grounds in League Two to bring you the latest line of news from our rivals' camps.
Accrington Stanley were trending across the country on Twitter on Tuesday morning when they were drawn to face Leeds United in the First Round of the Capital One Cup. It’s only the second time Stanley will have played at Elland Road, following a JPT tie in December 2009. “The Yorkshire lads (in the squad) are particularly looking forward to it,” revealed skipper Luke Joyce.
Matt Tubbs is confident that he can re-ignite his career at AFC Wimbledon after this week agreeing to join the club on a season-long loan from AFC Bournemouth. “The manager was a big factor (in me coming here,” the front man told the Dons’ Official Website. “It’s a case of me coming here now and repaying the manager’s faith in me.”
Lucas Akins agreed a deal to join Burton Albion from Stevenage on Wednesday morning and then immediately set his sights on promotion to League One. The Brewers have fallen at the play-off hurdle in the last two seasons but Akins feels it will be third time lucky in 2014/15. “I’ve come here to improve myself as a player and also to help the club kick-on from last year, which can only result in promotion,” the forward commented.
Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers will host Bury in the First Round of the Capital One Cup at The Reebok Stadium. It will be the first time the two sides have met in competitive action in a cup tie in October 2002 when Bernard Mendy scored the only goal to upset The Trotters on their own patch.
Cambridge United boss Richard Money says maintaining the harmony and team spirit in the dressing room is vital as he looks to shape his squad for their return to League football. The U’s chief has already brought in Luke Chadwick, Robbie Simpson, Chris Dunn and Johnny Hunt but admitted that ensuring new players fit in is of paramount importance. “It’s very much about getting a feel for people and where they’re at in their careers,” Money explained.
Carlisle United will be up against a former manager in the First Round of the Capital One Cup after they were paired with Paul Simpson’s Derby County. Simpson is First Team Coach under Steve McClaren at The iPro Stadium but gained hero status at Carlisle when he led the club to back-to-back promotions in 2005 and 2006.
Shaun North has been appointed as First Team Coach at Cheltenham Town with the former Bristol Rovers assistant boss due to start his new role at the beginning of next month. The Robins were on the lookout for a new member of staff following the departure of Neil Howarth, and Chairman Paul Baker has expressed his delight at the appointment of North.
Dagenham & Redbridge
Daggers front man Rhys Murphy could miss the start of the new season after undergoing surgery on both hips during the summer. Last term’s top scorer missed the last couple of months of 2013/14 but boss Wayne Burnett has revealed that surgery on the 23-year-old has been a success. “He desperately wants to be back for the start of the season because he loves football but it’s important that we get him back fully fit,” Burnett admitted.
Exeter midfielder Liam Sercombe says the fixtures have fallen well for The Grecians in 2014/15 and they are determined to show they mean business when the new season gets underway. City will open the season at home to Portsmouth before a trip to face local rivals Plymouth seven days later. “We need to get attendances up, and it’s in our hands to go and perform and get the three points early on,” Sercombe told City’s Official Website.
Hatters youngster Charlie Smith has been rewarded with a first professional contract at Luton Town this week. The 18-year-old has been on the books at Kenilworth Road since the age of nine and skippered the club’s Youth Team last term. So far he’s made three First Team appearances for Town and has now agreed a one-year deal. “The hard work for Charlie starts now and we’re looking forward to seeing him continue his development,” said boss John Still.
Mansfield Town have announced that long-serving goalkeeper Alan Marriott is to leave the club after they were unable to agree terms with the 35-year-old. Marriott joined The Stags in 2009 and went on to make over 200 league appearances but will now start looking for another club. “It is a wrench to leave but sometimes these things aren’t always in your control,” the keeper explained.
Chris Doyle has agreed a new deal to remain at Morecambe for another year after talks with manager Jim Bentley. The 19-year-old was the Reserves’ Player of the Year during 2013/14 and will now be hoping to challenge for regular First Team football during the new campaign. “He has all the hallmarks of being an excellent defender… and is a really good lad to have around the dressing room,” Bentley commented.
Newport County have been told they cannot play at Rodney Parade for a ten day period during 2014/15 due to a Nato summit being held in the city. The summit is being held at the Celtic Manor Resort on 4th and 5th September and The Exiles have been told they can’t play on home turf between 27th August and 7th September. As a result, County will play away on Saturday 30th August and have their fixture the following weekend moved to Monday 8th September.
Young Northampton defender Connor Roberts has agreed terms on his first professional contract with the club. Roberts is still only 17 but can operate at right-back or centre-back and has impressed manager Chris Wilder. His signing means that all the players who were offered fresh terms at the end of 2013/14 have now put pen to paper at The Sixfields Stadium.
Oxford United manager Gary Waddock thinks there will be a good atmosphere inside The Kassam Stadium for the opening day visit of Burton Albion. It’s the first time in five years that The U’s have started the campaign on home soil and Waddock says that could give them the edge. “I am sure the fans will be right behind us, especially as it has been such a long time since we had the first game at home,” he told Oxford’s Official Website.
New Plymouth Argyle signing Carl McHugh has set his sights on recreating the success he had with Bradford City two seasons ago after signing on the dotted line at Home Park. The Irish centre-back was part of the Bantams squad which won promotion via the play-offs and also got to the Capital One Cup Final in 2012/13 and now he wants to take some of that good luck to Devon with him. “It’s a massive club in this division and it can go places. I really want to be part of that,” McHugh said.
Pompey’s latest signing Craig Westcarr said that it was the ambition he sensed at Fratton Park which helped persuade him to join the South Coast outfit. The 29-year-old was released by Walsall at the end of last season despite scoring 16 times and a number of clubs were on the tail of the former Nottingham Forest apprentice. “Ideally, I would have liked to have stayed in League One but I had a lot of time to think about what they (Portsmouth) had to say to me and it all made sense.”
Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon is looking forward to taking on one of his old clubs after The Shrews were paired with Blackpool in the First Round of the Capital One Cup. Mellon played over 100 games for Blackpool in the mid-90s and will now host them in his first home game in charge at Greenhous Meadow. “We’ve got so much more to think about it before it comes along but it’s certainly a nice one for the players and ourselves to look forward to,” he admitted.
Southend boss Phil Brown says that a tough first month of League Two fixtures will give him a good idea of where he side can hope to finish in 2014/15. The Shrimpers start away at Accrington Stanley before hosting Stevenage in their first home game a week later. “Last season we made a really good start and it set us up for a positive campaign, hopefully we can exactly the same this time around,” Brown told the club’s Official Website.
Pools’ trip to Stevenage on the opening day of the League Two campaign will be the sixth season in row in which the club have been on home soil for the first game. Boro have also been drawn at home in the First Round of the Capital One Cup in which they will host Watford at The Lamex Staidum. “To draw a Championship club with such a strong team is a great opportunity for our players to prove themselves as being better than the level they will start at this season,” explained boss Graham Westley.
Tranmere midfielder Joe Thompson is looking ahead to a fresh chapter in his life after being given the all-clear following his battle with cancer. The 25-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last November and had been underwent chemotherapy before being told he was in complete remission earlier this week. “The support has been brilliant,” he explained. “People are putting in such hard work regarding cancer research and I am one of the lucky ones that has benefitted.”
Junior Morais has committed his future to Wycombe Wanderers after the teenage front man signed a new one-year deal at Adams Park. The 18-year-old has already made 31 First Team appearances for The Chairboys, though he is yet to be handed his first league start. “I feel that Junior hasn’t yet reached anything like his full potential,” insisted boss Gareth Ainsworth. “But I think, with another year under his belt, we can get the best out of him on the pitch.”
Former Shrewsbury Town winger Dave Winfield has ended speculation about his future by signing a two-year deal with York City. The 26-year-old was understood to be of interest to several clubs but has now put pen to paper on a deal at Bootham Crescent to become The Minstermen’s sixth summer signing. “I’m very excited about this new chapter of my career; it would be great come here and achieve something,” he told City’s Official Website.