We take another journey around League Two to find out what is making the headlines at all of the clubs in our division.
Stanley boss John Coleman has begun plans for next season at The Crown Ground following their disappointment at missing out on promotion. He’s offered deals to 18 of his players but four others are expected to leave the club during the summer. Star men Piero Mingoia and Tom Davies are among those offered fresh terms with The Reds.
The Bees have announced that midfielder Mark Randall will leave the club at the end of his contract this summer. The 26-year-old had arrived at The Hive on a short-term deal in January but Martin Allen has now decided not to offer him fresh terms. Meanwhile, Barnet winger Luke Gambin could be in line for an international debut after being called up for Malta’s friendlies against the Czech Republic and Austria later this month.
Blackpool are on the lookout for a new manager after it was announced that Neil McDonald and his backroom staff have left Bloomfield Road. The Tangerines must appoint their eighth manager in four years as they plan for life in League Two following back-to-back relegations. It had been hoped that McDonald would stay on at the club but after discussions it was confirmed that it was mutually agreed that he would leave.
The U’s have announced that sales of Season Tickets for 2016/17 have now hit four-figures as fans race to sign-up for the new campaign. Tickets have been on sale from The Abbey Stadium since the beginning of the month and club bosses say sales are up on the same period last year.
There was reason for celebration at Brunton Park over the weekend as the club’s medical team was voted as the best in League Two. The accolade was announced at the prestigious Football Medical Association Awards held at the Raddison Blu Hotel at East Midlands Airport. Long-serving Head Physio Neil Dalton, Fitness Coach Lee Fearn and Academy Physio Jordan Beech were recognised by the organisation for their work with The Cumbrians.
Cheltenham Town will have the chance to get their hands on some more silverware before the new season even kicks-off when they go head-to-head with Bristol City for the Johnson Cup in July. The name comes from the fact that Town boss Gary Johnson will be in one dugout and his son Lee will be in the other for the pre-season friendly at Whaddon Road on Monday 25th July.
Colchester has completed the signing of former Ipswich Town and Norwich City left-back Ben Wyatt from Ryman League outfit Maldon & Tiptree. The 20-year-old has signed a one-year deal with The U’s, following in the footsteps of striker Femi Akinwande who also made a move to Colchester from the non-league side. The pair will link-up once again with Steve Ball, who previously managed Maldon but is now Assistant Manager at The Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Speculation in the media has linked Crawley Town winger Gwion Edwards with a summer move to League One – though any suitors would have to stump up a fee. The midfielder remains under contract with The Red Devils but reports have suggested he is being watched by Charlton Athletic and MK Dons.
Chairman John Bowler has admitted that the Crewe Alexandra board had long discussions about the future of boss Steve Davis following their relegation from League One. After finishing six points adrift at the bottom of the table there was speculation over Davis’ future but he has the backing of the hierarchy at Gresty Road. “If we think we have the right balance and the right staff, we have got to be ready to show our support,” Bowler explained.
There was bad news for relegated Doncaster Rovers this week when it was confirmed that Aaron Taylor-Sinclair will be out for nine months with a serious knee injury. The defender suffered cruciate ligament damage during the final game of the season against Burton Albion and has now undergone surgery. After joining the club from Wigan Athletic last summer, Taylor-Sinclair made 49 appearances right across the back four.
Exeter City Chairman Julian Tagg has said that the next few years will prove crucial to the future of the club, following the Football League’s suggestion of a fifth division being introduced. The Grecians are in the process of making plans to build a new stand at St James’ Park but Tagg has admitted that they’re reaching a key stage in their development. “The next couple of years for our club are extremely significant,” he commented.
Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst is set to get stuck in to his plans for The Mariners’ return to the Football League by drawing up his list of transfer targets for the summer. Town are expected to release their retained list in the coming days after winning promotion via the Play-Off Final last weekend. “I’ve already got an idea of the players that I’d like to bring in… we are going to have to get that real quality and perhaps a little bit of League Two experience,” Hurst commented.
The O’s were celebrating on Monday afternoon when it was announced that they had won Programme of the Year in League Two. The Football League revealed the winners of a vote carried out to find the best publication in each division for 2015/16 and Orient came out on top, ahead of Notts County, Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth.
Thousands of Luton Town fans have put their names down in support of a bid to urge Luton Borough Council to back plans for a new stadium for the club. The Hatters have plans to relocate to a 17,500 all-seater stadium in the town centre and a consultation process has officially started during which over 3,000 fans have signed a petition. “Not only will it help regenerate a deprived part of our town centre but it will also help our beloved club compete at a higher level once again,” the petition read.
Stags boss Adam Murray has insisted he is in no hurry to bring new players in to his squad but remains determined to strengthen during the summer. Mansfield have been linked with bids for two strikers since the end of last season but Murray says there has been no more progress as of yet. “The deals have got to be right and we’re working really hard on them,” he explained.
Jim Bentley has been boosted by the news that two of his stars have agreed new contracts to stay at Morecambe for next season. Andrew Fleming and Ryan Edwards have both put pen to paper on new one-year deals with the club after their contracts expired at the end of last term.
The Exiles bid a fond farewell to a stalwart volunteer this week after John Sharpe decided to call it a day at the end of 27 years working for the club. The 73-year-old first began at County when they were re-formed in 1989 and has since become a very familiar face in the hospitality suites on a matchday. He’s missed only 15 home games in all that time and plans to continue being a regular at Rodney Parade in the stands next season.
Veteran midfielder Alan Smith is expecting to sign a new contract with Notts County in the near future. The 35-year-old was one of a trio of Magpies stars offered fresh terms by the club, along with Haydn Hollis and Wes Atkinson. “This is where I want to stay, I have no qualms about that,” Smith insisted.
Plymouth Argyle fans have gone Wembley-crazy this week as the club sold an incredible 33,001 tickets for Monday’s League Two Play-Off Final. It means that the game will be watched by a combined crowd in excess of 50,000 as The Pilgrims do battle with AFC Wimbledon for a place in League One. More than 50 coaches will leave Plymouth for London on the morning of the match.
Front man Marc McNulty has admitted he would love a return to the South Coast after excelling during a loan spell with Portsmouth in 2015/16. McNulty bagged 12 goals in 34 appearances for Pompey as they qualified for the play-offs before returning to parent club Sheffield United. “The question everyone has asked is if I would want to come back to Pompey and I would be lying if I said no,” he commented.
Injured Stevenage midfielder Steven Schumacher will work throughout the summer in his bid to return from a serious knee injury. The 32-year-old sustained cruciate ligament damage playing against Bristol Rovers in November and has admitted that he needs to keep working on his fitness. “My season is still ongoing. I am over the hill now and I feel I can see light at the end of the tunnel,” he told the Club’s Official Website.
Adebayo Akinfenwa has often been described as the strongest footballer in the world but he’s admitted there’s just as much strength in his faith. The powerful front man scored as AFC Wimbledon booked their place in the League Two Play-Off Final last week but regardless of Monday’s outcome at Wembley, it won’t be his be-all and end-all. “For me football is temporary where faith is forever. Whatever you do, your faith is the pinnacle, it’s everything,” he explained.
Wycombe Wanderers have set about plans for growth by signing up to a unique new partnership with the One Can Hope project and Waitrose. One Can Hope is now planning to build an allotment at Wanderers’ training ground as the initiative focuses on education people about the value of reducing waste food. As part of the scheme, club nutrition chef Ahmed Maaref will prepare healthy meals for Chairboys players throughout the 2016/17 campaign.
Yeovil Town boss Darren Way has put on hold any holiday plans as he continues his studies for the coveted UEFA PRO Licence this summer. Way spent last week taking in the Toulon Tournament as part of his qualification, which is the highest level of coaching award available.