We continue our study on the new teams joining us in League Two next term and Crewe Alexandra are next to go under the spotlight.
Who’s in charge?
Steve Davis has been boss of Crewe Alexandra since 2011 and has been given the green light to lead the club next term despite relegation from League One.
The Birmingham-born 50-year-old began his playing career with Stoke City but spent four years with Crewe between 1984 and 1987 during which he made almost 150 appearances.
A defender, Davis went on to play for Burnley, Barnsley, Oxford United, Macclesfield Town before spending time as player-manager at Northwich Victoria prior to a successful spell in the dugout at Nantwich Town.
In 2009, he returned to Gresty Road when he was unveiled assistant to boss Gudjon Thordarson, continuing in the role once the Icelander left the club and then moving in to take over in 2011.
Where do they play?
Gresty Road, also referred to as The Alexandra Stadium, has been home to Crewe Alexandra since back in 1897 although it was completely re-built during the 1990s.
It’s fair to say that it’s not a ground which has brought a lot of luck for Pools over the years – they’ve won just once in their last thirteen visits and that was back in the 1981/82 campaign.
How did they get here?
After staving off relegation on the final day of the previous two seasons, it proved third time unlucky for Crewe Alexandra last term as they were demoted back to League Two.
The Gresty Road outfit had toyed with trouble once too often over recent years and their fate was sealed in painful circumstances as local rivals Port Vale sent them down with a 3-0 win at Vale Park at the beginning of April.
Alex looked in danger from the off last season and just one win in their opening eleven outings saw them slump to the bottom of the League One table.
Back-to-back wins over Colchester United and Oldham Athletic at the end of November renewed hopes of a recovery but they didn’t taste victory again until February and left themselves a mountain to climb.
The new season will see Crewe competing at League Two level for the first time since 2011/12 when they won promotion via the play-offs.
When did we last meet?
Pools and Crewe Alexandra shared a division as recently as 2012/13 and the sides met three times during the course of the campaign after being paired together in the League Cup on the opening day.
Fans who chose to follow Pools to Gresty Road in August 2012 probably wish they hadn’t though because the hosts romped to a 5-0 victory to dump Neale Cooper’s men out of the competition.
Alex followed up that victory with a 2-1 when Pools returned to Gresty Road in the league two months later though there was some revenge to be had the following February when goals from Charlie Wyke, Jonathan Franks and Andy Monkhouse secured a 3-0 win for Pools.
When do we play them?
Fixtures for the new League Two campaign will be released at 9am on Wednesday 22nd June.
“Crewe is a place I know only too well and it’s a fantastic football club, which has a philosophy of bringing players through and giving them careers in the game.
“The production line from Crewe over the years is unbelievable and, although they had a really tough season last year, they’re a club who are well-run and they will be hoping to do well in 2016/17.
“There are some really lovely people at the football club and I know Dario Gradi is still involved there so I am really looking forward to playing against them and going back to Gresty Road.”